• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday stressed the need to consult with Negros Island legislators, regarding any options for the creation of Negros Island Region.
Lacson made the statement in response to the two options mulled by Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, for presentation to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., which is either the issuance of an executive order for the creation of a new region, or establishing sub-regions that will allow the establishment of satellite offices of national agencies in the cities of Bacolod City and Dumaguete, while NIR is being deliberated in Congress.
If only to start it, Lacson said “let’s go back to EO, but with an intention really of coming up with NIR, through a law.”
Negros Oriental and Siquijor, the other provinces included in the proposed NIR, are both under Region 7, while Negros Occidental belongs to Region 6.
“I’m just wondering if Mayor Albee is also in consultation with our legislators with this idea. We all know that our legislators are focused on creating NIR through a law,” Lacson said.
He added that he also prefers going directly to NIR, not through sub-regions, he further said.
All Negros Island solons co-authored the proposed NIR bill, which is being opposed by Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, citing language barrier and cultural differences, which Lacson said can be addressed through constant dialogue.*