By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Amid suggestions to create sub-regions for Western and Central Visayas, Negros Occidental acting Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer is still keen on the revival of Negros Island Region (NIR), which had been operating for two years before it was abolished during the administration of then-President Rodrigo Duterte.
Ferrer recalled that NIR had been operating smoothly in those two years under the existing budgets of Regions 6 and 7, stressing that there is no need for creating sub-regions instead of NIR.
“We will still support NIR,” he stressed.
Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Benitez earlier revealed suggestions of the Department of Budget and Management, as well as the National Economic Development Authority, that instead of lumping Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental into one region, Region 6B and Region 7, should instead be created to address the clamor for efficient delivery of services.
Under Regions 6B and 7B, Benitez said that all government offices based in Iloilo and Cebu will have satellite offices in Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, respectively, where the public can transact business.
Negros Island solons filed separate bills before the House of Representatives for the revival of NIR, with some of them even pushing for the inclusion of Siquijor in the proposed new region in Visayas.
Ferrer said that even the inclusion of Siquijor in the NIR revival may contribute to a delay in its passage in Congress.
Benitez said the DBM and NEDA proposals will be presented for discussion with political leaders of affected areas.