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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, March 7, 2018
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Negros officials girding
for federal state lobby


A meeting of Negros Occidental and Oriental officials is being organized to discuss a joint lobby for a one-island federal state under the proposed presidential federal form of government, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said yesterday.

Marañon said the meeting in Negros Oriental is being arranged by Arthur Aguilar, the lone Negrense on the 19-member committee created by President Rodrigo Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution and come up with a proposal for a shift to federalism.

Aguilar told the DAILY STAR earlier that it is important that Negrenses from all sectors make their positions heard on the two Negros provinces staying together under one state.

He said the draft proposal submitted by the PDP Laban retains the old regional structures in the composition of the regional states, although this is without prejudice to reconfiguration. This means that, under that proposal, Negros Occidental will remain under the federal state of Western Visayas, and Negros Oriental under the Central Visayas federal state, Aguilar said.

Marañon said they will lobby for the two Negros provinces to stay together under one federal state, either attached to other provinces, or as a single island federal state.

The country now has 17 regions, Negros Island undera federal government could be the 18 th federal state, the governor said.

Marañonsaid officials from Negros Occidental and Oriental had supported the creation of the Negros Island Region, so he is optimistic they will also support a lobby for both provinces to be reunited under one state.

From May 29, 2015 to Aug. 9, 2017,Negros Occidental and Orientalhad belonged together under the NIR.

NIR was created on May 29, 2015 by virtue of Executive Order No. 183 issued by then president Benigno Aquino III, and on Aug. 9, 2017, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 38 dissolving it.

That resulted to the return of Negros Occidental to Western Visayas and Negros Oriental to Central Visayas.*CPG


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