President Benigno Aquino III yesterday said the Department of Interior and Local Government is studying the call for the creation of a Negros Island region, and is getting inputs from the National Economic and Development Authority.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. has asked that the island region composed of Negros Occidental and Oriental be created through an executive order issued by the President.
Officials of both provinces have issued resolutions in support of the call for an island region.
“I'm awaiting the findings from the DILG before I can take action on it,” the President said.
“The DILG is currently studying the request, we will get the inputs also from NEDA, and the regional development councils,” he said.
It has to be determined if the two Negros provinces have the necessary components to ensure their growth, the President said.
Negros Occidental is currently part of Western Visayas with regional offices in Panay, while Negros Oriental is part of Central Visayas with regional offices in Cebu.
Asked if he had a timeline for action on the proposal that began during the time of then Gov. Daniel Lacson Jr. in the 1980s, the President said “Secretary (Mar) Roxas comes from this area and I'm sure he will expedite it to its logical conclusion.”
Roxas said Marañon and Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) informed him about the Negros Island region proposal six months ago.
He has asked all departments to calculate the costs of creating new regional offices on Negros Island and is waiting for that data, Roxas said.
The NEDA is also studying the economic viability of the one-island region, he said.
Roxas said once he has the needed data, “I will be back sooner than you think to consult the people of Negros one more time.”
Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) said a bill on the creation of a one island region has not been filed in Congress yet because the governor's proposal for it to be created by executive order might be faster.*CPG