Vice President Leni Robredo said if she is elected president in 2022 the restoration of the Negros Island Region, the needs of the sugar industry and harnessing the renewable energy potential of the island will be top concerns.
“I think those three are the top issues that the national government can help Negros with,” Robredo said at a press conference at Acacia Hotel in Bacolod City on Friday, November 5.
“It was a very important first step when NIR was formed and established because it was an opportunity. It was a very big opportunity for both Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental to finally plan as an island region”, Robredo said.
The NIR was created by virtue of an executive order issued by then President Benigno Aquino III on May 29, 2015 but was abolished on August 9, 2017 by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The abolition of the NIR was really a lost opportunity for everyone, Robredo said.
Robredo also said the sugarcane industry is also faced with many problems.
A lot of targets for the industry were not reached because of lack of support from the government, she said.
She said targets have not been met because, among other concerns, the prices of fertilizer and electricity have gone up.
Negros Occidental is the only province that has a vision for a roadmap for going toward renewable energy, Robredo said.
In fact, the province has an oversupply supply of renewable energy that has not been harnessed, she said.
The vice president, who was met by cheering provincial government employees during her stop at the Negros Occidental Capitol Friday morning, signed a memorandum of agreement with Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson for a fund transfer from the Office of the Vice President of P500,000 to the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City.
The fund will be used for providing medical assistance to eligible clients through grants.
The MOA was signed in the presence of Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz, TLJPH Hospital Chief Dr. Mary Ann Maestral, and Hospital Operations Department Chief Dr. Girlie Pinongan Friday morning.
MEETING WITH BISHOP
On her meeting with Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon, Robredo said “It was a very candid conversation on where we are now”.
The most comforting thing about the conversation is that the Diocese of Bacolod is ready to help, not with her candidacy, but with prevailing issues concerning the elections “that includes disinformation that might affect how people will decide”, she said.
The Diocese of Bacolod’s commitment is that it will be very active in helping people discern, she said.
Robredo also met with Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia at the Bacolod City Government Center Friday afternoon.*