Unified Negros region seen to drive growth in Visayas

Unified Negros region seen to drive growth in Visayas

/ 05:04 AM June 14, 2024

Unified Negros region seen to drive growth in Visayas

President Marcos is hopeful that the newly created Negros Island Region (NIR) will be one of the centers of socioeconomic development in the Visayas.

Upon signing Republic Act No. 12000, which created the country’s 18th region, on Thursday, the President assured that the government would play a big part in accelerating the region’s growth.


“The new Negros Island Region will be a bulwark of greater growth as well as a conduit for more effective and efficient delivery of essential services in the region,” Mr. Marcos said.


“We envision it as one of the centers of development in the Visayas, further accelerating socioeconomic development for the millions of Negrenses and providing strategic convergence regarding resources, investments, and economic planning,” he added.

RA 12000 is a reconciled version of Senate Bill No. 2507 and House Bill No. 7355, which both proposed the establishment of the Negros Island Region.

READ: Negros region bill hurdles second reading in Senate

The new administrative region is composed of the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental on Negros Island and the nearby island province of Siquijor. The three provinces have a combined population of around 4.7 million, according to the 2020 census.

‘Long overdue’

In his speech, Mr. Marcos said the union of the three provinces was “long overdue” and made “practical sense.”

Negros Occidental is part of the Western Visayas region, while Negros Oriental and Siquijor belong to Central Visayas.


The NIR was first created in 2015 under Executive Order No. 183 issued by then President Benigno Aquino III. It was abolished two years later by then President Rodrigo Duterte.

Government officials and business leaders on Negros Island described the creation of NIR as the fulfillment of a dream, which they believed would boost the local economy.

“We are all very happy. It is an achievement for all of us,” said Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.

“Our belief that the immense potential of Negros Island, Siquijor and our people can best be realized by becoming one region has driven our efforts and determination through the years,” he said.

Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez thanked the lawmakers and the President for reviving the NIR.

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Negros Occidental Rep. Francisco Benitez, one of the authors of the NIR bill, said the establishment of NIR “will bring government services closer to the people … and facilitate integrated development planning.”

Frank Carbon of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry said more investments coming into the region “will create more and better-paying jobs that will help eradicate poverty and insurgency.” —REPORTS FROM JULIE M. AURELIO AND CARLA P. GOMEZ 

TAGS: Negros Island Region

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