Negros Oriental church execs to Marcos: Veto creation of NIR

Negros Oriental church execs to Marcos: Veto creation of NIR

/ 05:02 AM April 12, 2024

BACOLOD CITY — The Diocese of Dumaguete is calling on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to veto Senate Bill (SB) No. 2507 which seeks to form the Negros Island Region (NIR), saying the process of creating the new region was marred with “grave lack of fair, just and truthful consultation.”

In a letter dated March 25 but sent to the Office of the President only after Holy Week, the leaders of the Roman Catholic diocese in Negros Oriental said the intention behind SB 2507 “is unclear to the general public.”

READ: Marcos ready to sign law creating Negros Island Region


“Our plea is not born of mere dissent, but rather from a sense of duty to safeguard the future of our beloved province. The church’s sole concern in this matter is to ensure that the voice of the people is not only heard but also duly acknowledged and accorded the justice it rightfully deserves,” it said.


The President on Monday said he would sign into law the bill creating the NIR composed of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and Siquijor provinces.

The bill, already approved in both houses of Congress, was coauthored by all representatives of Negros Island and endorsed by Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Negros Oriental Gov. Manuel “Chaco” Sagarbarria.

The Diocese of Dumaguete said the passage of the NIR bill had been marred by a lack of comprehensive information dissemination and meaningful consultation with different sectors in Negros Oriental.

“As custodians of democracy, it is the people’s inherent right to be fully informed and actively engaged in decisions of such magnitude, for they shape the trajectory of our collective destiny,” it said.

“The creation of the NIR threatens to exacerbate existing inequalities, as Negros Oriental finds itself disadvantaged by its fewer districts and cities compared to Negros Occidental,” it added.

Siquijor inclusion

“Additionally, we raise the perplexing inclusion of the province of Siquijor in the NIR despite its distinct identity, language and geographical separation from Negros,” the diocese said.


“The omission of proper consultation with the people of Siquijor further compounds the legitimacy of this endeavor. This is the expressed sentiment of all the priests on the entire island of Siquijor,” it said.

The letter was signed by Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes and eight other officials of the diocese.

Negros Occidental currently belongs to Western Visayas while Negros Oriental and Siquijor are under Central Visayas, whose regional centers are located in the cities of Iloilo and Cebu, respectively.

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In 2015, the NIR was established through Executive Order (EO) No. 183 issued by then President Benigno Aquino III. The region was abolished in 2017 by former President Rodrigo Duterte through EO 38.

TAGS: Marcos, Negros Island Region

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