Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the passage of a law creating the Negros Island Region (NIR) by December would be a nice Christmas gift.
Lacson was upbeat Thursday, March 2, following The House of Representatives approval of House Bill 7355 seeking the creation of the NIR on second reading.
The bill states that the new region will be composed of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
“I think it’s really very positive, it looks like it’s really going to happen,” Lacson said.
He congratulated the Negros and Siquijor representatives for their efforts to see to it that the new region will happen.
Since it passed on second reading it looks like it will automatically pass on third and final reading in the Lower House, he said.
“We will then have to wait for the Senate version,” he said, pointing out that many of the senators had made it a campaign promise to support the creation of the new region.
If a law creating the new region is approved this year, there may no longer be a need for an executive order creating it, he added.
Rep. Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ. 3rd District) also thanked the representatives of Negros and Siquijor, including Rep. Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod Partylist), who are pushing for the new region.
He also particularly thanked Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6th District) who chaired the technical working group.
“We hope the Senate passes the bill in the soonest possible time. We look forward to the establishment of the NIR to the benefit of all Negrosanon,” Benitez said.*