Lacson supports biz leaders call for EO creating NIR ahead of law

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.*

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Monday, January 23, that he supports the call of business leaders for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to issue an executive order establishing the Negros Island Region, which includes Siquijor, ahead of the passage of a law on its creation.

The governor is appealing for the issuance of an EO creating the NIR similar to the one issued by then President Benigno Aquino III that was later abolished by former President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We appeal that the President issue an executive order which will re-establish the
Negros Island Region with the inclusion of Siquijor Island” ahead of the passage of a law creating it,” the business leaders said in a joint statement released last week.

Then President Benigno Aquino IlI heeded the decades old clamor for such region through
Executive Order 183 in 2015 but President Rodrigo Duterte reversed it through EO 38 in 2017 notwithstanding a successful short stint of a unified Island Region with many accomplishments and no undue financial burden to the national government, they said.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said sub-regions could be created ahead of the law.

“With due respect, the proposal to form 6A and 7A subregions will not achieve the
Region’s objectives and would not do justice to its vast economic potentials. It is a mere reshuffling of the Manila bureaucracy and certainly does not address the economic governance imperatives and opportunities which abound in the Negros Siguijor Region,” the business leaders said.

The statement was signed by Edward C. Du – Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Frank A. Carbon – Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and industry chief executive officer, Roberto Montelibano – MBCCI president, Edgar Sy – Bacolod Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Arthur N. Aguilar – Biopower Group of Companies president, and Eduardo Jereza – Negros Economic Development Foundation corporate secretary.

They also appealed to the Negros congressmen to pursue the passage of such law so future presidents would not reverse it once more by executive fiat.

The concern of Manila bureaucrats about additional funding burden will be alleviated if Negros Occidental is allocated its share from Region 6 while Oriental Negros/Siquijor get their share from
Region 7, as what was done during the short lived NIR, the business leaders said.
Both shares can then be consolidated, and the re- established Region would have a workable launching financial platform, they said.*

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