Visayan bloc backs restoration of NIR

All of the representatives from Cebu and Iloilo registered no objections to the NIR, Rep. Francisco Benitez said.*

Members of the Visayan bloc in the House of Representatives are supporting the bill seeking the creation of the Negros Island Region (NIR), Rep. Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) said Friday, July 1.

All of the representatives from Cebu and Iloilo registered no objections   during the Visayan bloc meeting at the end of the 18th Congress, he said.

They are willing to support the bill, Benitez said.

The Visayan bloc is reconvening for the 19th Congress with some new members as others have graduated, he added.

Benitez said he is gathering all the signatures for the filing of the bill on Monday or Tuesday.

Twelve congressmen  from Negros Island and Siquijor are jointly filing the bill seeking the reestablishment of the NIR.

The NIR will include the provinces of Negros Occidental and Oriental and Siquijor, Benitez said.

Negros Occidental is currently under Region 6 (Western Visayas) and Negros Oriental and Siquijor are under Region 7 (Central Visayas).

Then President Benigno Aquino III issued an executive order creating the NIR that existed from May 29, 2015 to Aug. 9, 2017. It was abolished by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Benitez said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may issue an executive order reestablishing the NIR ahead of the passage of the bill creating it.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said he will file a counterpart bill in the Senate.*

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