Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said he would prefer that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issue an executive order creating the Negros Island Region, instead of sub-regions, ahead of the passage of a law.
The EO could be similar to the one issued by former President Benigno Aquino III that led to the creation of the NIR composed of Negros Occidental and Oriental on May 29, 2015, Lacson said on Wednesday, February 8.
However, former President Rodrigo Duterte abolished the NIR on Aug. 9, 2017.
Lacson also reiterated that the call of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo for the creation of a third Negros province to ensure “equal footing” under the new region can be addressed through other means.
The need for equal footing can be addressed without creating a new province, he said.
Lacson assured that Negros Oriental by joining the new region will not be put at a disadvantage.
“We are committed to help every member of the region,” he said.
The representatives of Negros Island pushing for the creation of the NIR, composed of the two Negros provinces and Siquijor, have also rejected the proposal of Degamo for the creation of a third Negros province.
Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said on Monday, February 6, that Degamo is not part of the legislative process, it is the congressmen who will decide.
“I think the NIR can move forward without his endorsement,” Benitez said.*