Bill seeking the creation of Samar Island Region to be refiled in the House | Inquirer News

Bill seeking the creation of Samar Island Region to be refiled in the House

/ 02:27 PM July 07, 2024

DPWH, Jica eyeing to build second San Juanico bridge infrastructure ppp code

VITAL LINK The 50-year-old San Juanico Bridge is a major infrastructure that has contributed to the economic growth of the islands of Samar and Leyte. — File photo from NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

TACLOBAN CITY – Inspired by the approval of the Negros Island Region (NIR), a party-list representative from Eastern Samar has decided to refile a bill creating the Samar Island Region (SIR).

Rep. Marcelino Libanan of the 4Ps party-list said the approval of the NIR by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has encouraged officials from Samar Island to try to separate from Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran.

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These areas are the other provinces that comprise Eastern Visayas.

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“I recently had a meeting with other officials of Samar to discuss the proposal of One Samar Island Region in light of the approval of Negros Island Region by the President,” Libanan said in an interview on July 1.

“We think it’s about time that we also renew our call for the one Samar Island Region,” he noted.

Last June 13, President Marcos approved the creation of the NIR which is composed of Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

Negros Occidental used to belong to Western Visayas while Negros Oriental and Siquijor were under Central Visayas.

Libanan, who is also the minority floor leader in the House of Representatives, said he would reintroduce a bill for the creation of the SIR once sessions resume this month.

Samar, the third largest island in the country with 333,300 hectares, is composed of Western Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar with a combined population of more than 1.9 million.

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These provinces are among the poorest in the country.

According to records from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the poverty rate in Samar is at 35.8%; Eastern Samar, 35.6%; and Northern Samar, 27.5%, as of last year.

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The island also faces an insurgency problem which is often cited as a reason for the lack of investors.

TAGS: Negros, Samar

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