Negros Island can stand alone as a federated region, because with its two provinces previously united, it was ranked 4 th among the country’s regions, Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said yesterday.
Marañon, who was referring to the short-lived Negros Island Region composed of Negros Occidental and Oriental, said that is why officials of both provinces are mounting a campaign for reunification under a federal form of government.
Professor Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms, said Thursday that the single criteria for the creation of a federated region, which is theconsensus in the study committee, is that it should have a single, or two to three growth areas.
Marañon, in response, said the whole Negros Island is a growth area.
Negros can stand alone as one region but if it has to merge with other areas under one federated region, the whole island should be kept together, he added.
Casiple said “You have to clearly make it known to the whole Philippines that you are united…you should not only lobby (for a federated region), you should make a stand.”
Marañon said that is precisely why he and Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo met late last month to make their position known to the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to come up with a draft on the country’s proposed shift to federalism.
They aired their desire to keep the two Negros provinces together to ConCom member Arthur Aguilar, who is a Negrense.
“We are lobbying and a lot are going to join,” he said.*CPG
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