After Negros Island Region abolition, Duterte hopes 2 provinces remain united

Marchel P. Espina
After Negros Island Region abolition, Duterte hopes 2 provinces remain united


'May this dislocation foster solidarity and camaraderie,' President Rodrigo Duterte says at the opening rites of the Buglasan Festival at Dumaguete City

BACOLOD, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is hoping that the two Negros provinces remain united even after Negros Island Region (NIR) was abolished.

Duterte, who had ordered the abolition of the region, made the statement at the  opening rites of the Buglasan Festival at Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental Friday, October 13.

“May this dislocation foster solidarity and camaraderie as we take part in realizing the country’s potentials,” the President said.

On August 9, Duterte signed the executive order (EO) abolishing the region, composed of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. (READ: Abolition of Negros Island Region: Good or bad news?)

With the dissolution of NIR, the two provinces, along with the regional line offices, reverted to its previous regions – Negros Occidental to Western Visayas and Negros Oriental to Central Visayas.

During his speech, Duterte asked the crowd if they favored abolishing NIR. “I think I signed an administrative order restoring back the original set-up.”

Speaking in vernacular, the President said: “Gusto niyo? Ayaw ‘nyo? Ti okay man? Waay mo gusto, dikit kamo sa Iloilo (You want it? You don’t? Is it ok? You don’t want to be with Iloilo)?”

He also quipped that Ilonggos are boastful, which drew cheers and laughter from the crowd. “Biro lang ito, huwag kayong magalit. Lola ko taga-Iloilo (This is just a joke. Don’t get mad. My grandmother is from Iloilo).”

On October 9, the two-year run of Negros Island officially ended after all the regional offices shut down their operations.

Then President Benigno Aquino III signed the EO creating NIR on May 29, 2015.

NIR was created to accelerate social and economic development and to improve the delivery of public services to the two provinces. Its creation also made it easier for both public workers and citizens to access government offices and services as the regional centers were established in the Negros Island, contrary to the previous set-up.

Under NIR, 14 regional offices were housed in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental while 16 others in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. 

Duterte is expected to return to Bacolod City for the closing rites of the MassKara Festival on October 22. –

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