BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The possibility of making Talisay City as the new capital of Negros Occidental is now being explored, following plans to transfer the seat of power of the provincial government to the area, from Bacolod City.
“By three-fourth votes of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, we can transfer the capital, the seat of power of the provincial government, under the Local Government Code,” Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz, a lawyer, said.
“Under the LGC, we have the autonomy,” Diaz added. “We don’t have to wait for the national government to transfer our capital.”
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson Tuesday confirmed plans to relocate the seat of the provincial government to a 25-hectare property in Brgy. Matab-ang, Talisay City, that it had purchased in the past years.
Lacson cited the potentials of the property being a “growth center”, compared to the present site of Capitol that is congested, and now a commercial area.
The provincial government was supposed to start the construction of the P900 million new Provincial Administration Center on a 16,000 square-meter lot in front of the National Bureau of Investigation building at North Capitol Road in Bacolod City.
Diaz said he was tasked by Lacson to coordinate with the Provincial Engineer’s Office in documenting the transfer of the PAC building from Bacolod to Talisay, and determine its variation.
“It is really wise to put it elsewhere, where it can spur economic growth,” he said, adding that the opportunity was taken advantage of by Lacson, Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, the SP members, former Rep. Alfredo Benitez, and other Negrense solons to develop a growth center in other cities of Negros Occidental.
The 25-hectare property will not only be home to the provincial government, but regional offices as well, Diaz said, adding that it would mean efficient service to Negrosanons, as it will become a one-stop-shop.
Mayor Neil Lizares, meanwhile, thanked Lacson yesterday for considering Talisay as the new home of the provincial government offices. “We welcome this new development, as this will bring economic opportunities for growth and progress to our city, and as partners in rebuilding our province,” Lizares said.*