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ACE backs island’s governors NIR meeting

The Association of Chief Executives – Negros (ACE) supports the plan of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson to visit Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo to discuss the revival of the Negros Island Region (NIR), Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez said.

ACE president Benitez said they already passed a resolution supporting the NIR.

“We will try to do what we can do but we will be fighting for NIR,” he said.

Benitez said the benefits of having an NIR “will be big for Negrosanons.”

“We don’t have to spend that much to cross to Iloilo of we need something from the regional offices,” he added.

He also said that while local officials can lobby for projects from the national offices, it will still be referred to the regional offices.

Having an NIR will mean more projects for Negros, the mayor said.

Asked if he is willing to join the visit of the governor to Degamo scheduled in January next year, Benitez said “if I am invited.”

“In diplomacy it’s a great deal when a leader visits the area of another place. If it’s just between the two governors, we respect that. We understand how diplomacy works,” Benitez said.

Early this week, Lacson confirmed that he will visit Degamo on either the first or second week of January.

The technical working group (TWG) of the House Committee on Local Government approved an NIR bill that includes the province of Siquijor.

Last week, the Senate also passed an NIR bill.

Negros Occidental is currently under Region 6 while Negros Oriental is under the jurisdiction of Region 7.*

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