Guv hopes next admin supports creation of NIR

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said Wednesday, November 24, that he does not think the passage of a law creating the Negros Island Region will happen in the 18th Congress, but he is hoping the next administration will support it.

“Obviously our leaders in the island are looking forward to a more accommodating administration as far as the Negros Island Region is concerned,” Lacson said in reaction to the filing of House Bill No. 10534 by nine Negros representatives seeking the creation of the NIR.

“I’m glad they filed the bill…It is very encouraging and I hope the next administration will support such measure,” Lacson said.

Lacson said he does not think such measure will pass in the 18th Congress but thinks it may pass in the next Congress.

Former Agriculture secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol, who is running for senator, on Wednesday said he is also supporting the creation of the NIR because placing Negros Occidental and Oriental under one region will mean more practical and pragmatic governance.

In May 2015, former President Benigno Aquino III signed Executive Order 183, creating the Negros Island Region, but in August 2017 President Rodrigo Duterte abolished it.

The NIR will meet greater economic coordination and more efficient delivery of public services in Negros Occidental and Oriental, Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez (Negros Occidental, 3rd District), an author of the measure, said.

Consolidating the two Negros provinces in one administrative region through the “Negros Island Region Act” will promote sustainable and inclusive economic development, he said.

The signatories of the bill introduced by Benitez, are Negros Occidental representatives Gerardo Valmayor (1st District), Leo Rafael Cueva (2nd District), Juliet Marie Ferrer (4th District), Ma. Lourdes Arroyo (5th District), Rep. Greg Gasataya (Bacolod) and Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod).
Negros Oriental representatives who signed the bill are Jocelyn Sy Limkaichong (1st District) and Arnolfo Teves Jr. (3rd District).

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri on November 19 also filed Senate Bill No. 2453 that seeks to establish the Negros Island Administrative Region to be known as Region XVIII.*

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