Negros Occidental

Excitement builds up among Negros leaders ahead of NIR rebirth

Erwin Delilan

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Excitement builds up among Negros leaders ahead of NIR rebirth

APPROVED. Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri gives the thumbs-up sign alongside officials from Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental after the Senate approved a measure to reestablishing the Negros Island Region.

courtesy of Juan Miguel Zubiri

Many Negros officials and business leaders hope for a new era of development and cooperation for the two Negros provinces and Siquijor

BACOLOD, Philippines – Officials and business leaders across Negros Island are ecstatic over the rebirth of the Negros Island Region (NIR), and the scheduled signing of the law that will create the new region on Thursday, June 13.

With the impending signing of the NIR law, many Negros officials and business leaders hope for a new era of development and cooperation for the two Negros provinces and Siquijor.

The NIR was first established in 2015 by then-president Benigno Aquino Jr. through Executive Order 183, but was abolished on August 7, 2017, by his successor, former president Rodrigo Duterte, due to funding issues.

Not all are in favor of the new region’s creation, including Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes, and have appealed to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to veto the measure.

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson announced on Tuesday, June 11, that Marcos will sign Senate Bill 2507 and House Bill 7355, known as “An Act Establishing the Negros Island Region,” into a law in Malacañang on Thursday.

The new region will encompass Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and the island province of Siquijor. With the new law, Negros Occidental will be carved out of the Western Visayas region, while Negros Oriental and Siquijor will be separated from Central Visayas.

“Finally, the rebirth of NIR will happen, and it will be forever and ever,” Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer told Rappler on Wednesday, June 12. “I thank the President for fulfilling our dream.”

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas also expressed optimism about the creation of the new region, saying it is for the greater good of the Negrenses.

Negros Occidental 5th District Representative Dino Yulo said the NIR would spur more development, especially in rural areas and uplands of the province, and would lead to sustainable peace and order. 

Another congressman, Manuel Sagarbarria of Negros Oriental’s 2nd District, said officials in his province were also optimistic of more development for the Negros and Siquijor provinces with the new region.

Yulo is one of the representatives from Negros Occidental who authored HB 7355 alongside Greg Gasataya of Bacolod City, Gerardo Valmayor of the 1st District of the province, Alfredo Marañon III of the 2nd District, Francisco Benitez of the 3rd District, Juliet Marie Ferrer of the 4th District, Mercedes Alvarez-Lansang of the 6th District, and Joseph Stephen Paduano of Abang Lingkod party-list.

The representatives from Negros Oriental who pushed for the creation of the NIR include Sagarbarria, Jocelyn Sy-Limkaichong of the 1sy District, and expelled 3rd District representative Arnolfo Teves Jr.

Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) Chief Executive Officer Frank Carbon called the NIR as “a boon for business,” which would create a synergy to boost both local business and tourism. 

Carbon also said creation of the new region would enhance inter-provincial road connectivity and upgrade Negros Island’s airports and seaports. 

The creation of the new region, he said, would have a positive domino effect on power generation and transmission, and development of water sources. 

However, not all are happy with the NIR creation. The Catholic Diocese of Dumaguete registered its protest and has urged Marcos to use his veto powers. 

Similarly, the Tingog Siquijodnon coalition in Siquijor also raised concerns about what it said was a lack of consultation with Siquijidnons before the Congress acted on the proposals to create the new region.

“As custodians of democracy, it is the people’s inherent right to be fully informed and actively engaged in decisions of such magnitude, for they shape the trajectory of our collective destiny,” read part of an open letter signed by Cortes and others questioning the legislative measure. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!