BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri vowed to re-file the proposed Negros Island Region bill, in the next Congress “come hell or high water.”
Zubiri admitted on November 13 that he was disappointed by the abolition of NIR in 2017 by the present administration, more than a year of its existence through an executive order issued by the late President Benigno Aquino III.
The bill proposing the creation of NIR, according to Zubiri, is still pending in the Senate because it did not get the support of the executive department. But the lawmaker said he is hopeful that the new administration next year will support it, he added.
That is why it is important that there should be a law, so that whoever sits as president, we will have NIR,” he pointed out.
Zubiri also said that they have enough allies in the Senate to support it.
Vice President Leni Robredo and Negrense senatorial bet Alex Lacson and former Vice Gov. Dino Yulo, a congressional bet in the 5th district of Negros Occidental, were among those who aired their support for the NIR restoration.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said he is calling not only political leaders but the entire Negrense people “to make it a condition that we will only consider a candidate if the revival of the NIR is in their platform.”
Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer also said that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is ready any time to issue another resolution reiterating the call to restore NIR.
If a candidate will not support the NIR, Ferrer said that he will campaign against him. During their campaign in Negros, we should ask them if they will support NIR, he added.
When asked if he will support the restoration of NIR, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, who is the presidential standard bearer of Partido Reporma, said “whatever Negrenses want should be followed.”
“Kung ano ang gusto ng tao, huwag naton kontrahin,” Lacson stressed.*