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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, March 12, 2016
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RDC endorses P21.6B
in NIR budget proposals

The Regional Development Council has endorsed an initial P12.6 billion in proposed budgets for 17 national government agencies and four state colleges and universities in the Negros Island Region, at a meeting in Dumaguete City yesterday.

The RDC, at the meeting at the Bethel Guest House chaired by Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., also endorsed the proposal for the allocation of P9 billion to connect NIR provincial roads.

Also present at the meeting was Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo.

NEDA NIR Director Efren Carreon said the proposed P12.6 billion for national government agencies and state colleges and universities to be included in the 2017 national budget will be a lot bigger once all the figures from the various agencies are consolidated.

The proposed budget will then be endorsed to the Department of Budget and Management for funding inclusion.

The other national government agencies have not submitted their budget proposals while others need revisions that will be discussed in an RDC Executive Committee before a final amount for the NIR is reached, Carreon said.

The 17 national government agencies that submitted budget proposals were the Department of Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources;

Environment Management Bureau, Department of Public Works and Highways, National Irrigation Authority, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Health, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Science and Technology, and the Population Commission.

The Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, Central Philippines State University, Northern Negros School of Science and Technology, and Negros Oriental State University also submitted their budget proposals.

The RDC yesterday also adopted the NIR vision that states that, “By 2040, a globally-competitive diversified economy for a healthy, empowered and God-centered Negrense in an ecologically-balanced, peaceful and resilient community with a dynamic, responsive and accountable governance resulting to an enhanced quality of life for all.”

The RDC also endorsed the proposals of both Negros Oriental and Occidental for the allocation of P9 billion to connect provincial roads under the Coordinating Roads and Infrastructure Investments for Development Project, Marlin Sanogal, Neg. Occ. Provincial Planning and Development Officer, said.

The CR+ID Project is a collaboration between the two Negros provinces, the Metro Bacolod and Negros Oriental Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Asia Foundation and AusAID, she added.

Carreon said among the accomplishments of the NI-RDC since its organizational meeting on Dec. 4, 2015, are the identification of sectoral committee chairpersons, and the nomination and confirmation of private aector representatives to the council.

Marañon said the NIR has a lot of potential in many aspects, such as tourism, energy, and in attracting more investors to the island.

Degamo said that he is happy that the two NIR provinces have started working harmoniously together, with a common goal of improving the quality of life of every Negrense.*CPG

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