MANILA, Philippines —Department of the Interior and Local Government undersecretary Jesus Hinlo urged on Wednesday, August 9, his fellow Negrosanons to respect the end to the Negros Island Region.
“As a Negrosanon, I am saddened witht the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to abolish the Negros Island Region… However, as a Filipino, I appeal to my fellow Negrosanons to respect the decision of the President,” Hinlo said in a statement.
This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the dissolution of the region for lack of funds, ending a long-time dream of Negrosanons. (FAST FACTS: The Negros Island Region)
The push for one region for the island started when Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental governors lobbied in 1994 to unite the two provinces. It was realized in 2015 when then-President Benigno Aquino III created the region through an executive order – the one reversed by President Duterte last Monday, August 7.
Hinlo, who is part of the “Save NIR” movement, said they tried to prevent the early end of the region, but “failed” since the administration has other priorities.
Hinlo is also one of 3 undersecretaries who have had limited powers in the government as they have been ‘floating officials‘ since April 2017.
“We have to understand that the administration has priority programs and projects that need funds that compete with the operational existence of the NIR. As of the present, the Philippine government need the funds to support its priority programs to address problems in peace and order, education, hospitalization, poverty and infrastructure,” he said.
Hinlo said the fight for one Negros is not yet over.
“Although the dream of the Negrosanons to be a one island region is presently set aside, let us remember that our sacrifice would be for a noble cause,” he said. – Rappler.com
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