Regional Director Efren Carreon of the National Economic Development Authority-Negros Island said yesterday they still need to confirm reports of the postponement of the NIR Regional Center site development in 2017.
Carreon said the NI-Regional Development Council is yet to receive any issuance or feedback from the Department of Budget and Management regarding the proposal.
“Until we have a black and white response, the information is still premature, unless it is really reliable,” he said.
A source from NEDA-Region 6, who wished to remain anonymous, said that although the budget for the pipeline projects in Negros Occidental and Oriental are in place, that for the proposed regional center in Kabankalan City will undergo reconsiderations.
The source said there might be some hesitations over the approval after Budget Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno reviewed the proposal that was filed under the regional budget of Negros Island for the National Expenditure Program.
The groundbreaking of the site development in Kabankalan next year might be delayed, but talks are ongoing about whether the NIR budget will be approved, the source said.
The initial site development cost of about P300 million was proposed under the budget of the Department of Works and Highways, endorsed by the NI-RDC, and submitted to the national office, Carreon said.
“Currently, we are guided by the Executive Order 183 that created NIR or Region 18,” Careon said, “it's the prerogative of President Rodrigo Duterte to support the budget proposal or even revoke the EO.”
The government line agencies in Negros are already functioning as regional offices with personnel, but some posts are still vacant and will be filled once the separate operational budget is approved, he also said.*KBC
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