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NIR bill already at Office of the President – Ferrer

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Negros Occidental acting Governor Jeffrey Ferrer disclosed yesterday that the Negros Island Region bill is now at the Office of the President, for appropriate action.

Ferrer, who is serving as acting governor until May 23, in the absence of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, said that the resignation of Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri as Senate president, will have no effect on the NIR bill, which was already approved by the Senate.

The proposed new Visayas region will be composed of the provinces of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.

Ferrer said he was personally told by President Marcos Jr., during the latter’s recent visit to Negros Occidental, that the NIR bill is good as approved.

If it will not be signed within 45 days, it will lapse into law, he added.

But for him, Ferrer said the signing into law of the NIR bill is “ceremonial.”

Under the present setup, Negros Occidental is under Region 6 (Western Visayas) while Negros Oriental and Siquijor belong to Region 7 (Central Visayas), which have regional centers in Iloilo and Cebu, respectively.

The Diocese of Dumaguete and some Siquijior residents have earlier urged President Marcos Jr. to veto the NIR bill, due to what they claimed was the lack of consultation.*

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