Aquino creates Negros Island Region thru EO
President Benigno Aquino III has signed the executive order (EO) creating the Negros Island Region (NIR), citing its necessity to boost the economic and social development of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental.
“There is a need to further accelerate the social and economic development of the cities and municipalities comprising the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental and improve the delivery of basic services in the aforementioned provinces,” the President said in signing EO No. 183 on May 29.
The creation of administrative regions was envisioned to “promote efficiency in the government, accelerate social and economic development and improve public services,” the EO said.
A copy of the executive order was released to the media only on Friday.
The creation of the NIR has been the clamor of political and business leaders, as well as other sectors, of the two provinces.
The administrative region would not only make transacting business with government more convenient and efficient for those from Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.
The Inquirer has reported that the NIR’s proponents also believe that having one region will “improve planning, management, and administration of programs and policies on tourism, peace and order, and environment and economic development.”
In a visit to Bacolod in late April, Mr. Aquino himself enunciated the advantages of having one administrative region for two provinces, especially when it comes to sharing natural resources.
The President noted Negros Occidental was under Western Visayas “that has six provinces, and Negros Oriental is part of Central Visayas that has four, so the pie is divided more ways.”
In terms of convenience in transacting day-to-day business in the region, it has been proposed that the NIR’s regional center will be in the central part of the island at the border of Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental and Mabinay town in Negros Oriental.
Before the administrative region, those from Negros Occidental have to travel to Iloilo to do business with regional government, while those from Negros Oriental have to go to Cebu.
President Aquino directed the creation of a Negros Island Region-Technical Working Group (NIR-TWG) that will “formulate a roadmap to put in place the institutional arrangements for the NIR by 2015-2016; recommend to the OP (Office of the President) the preferred regional center; arrange the requirements for organizational development, staffing and budgeting of regional line and regulatory agencies, as well as the imperatives for development planning and investment programming.”
The OP, the Department of Budget and Management, the National Economic and Development Authority, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the representatives of the provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental would comprise the NIR-TWG.
Funding for the NIR-TWG would come from the implementing agencies of the NIR-TWG, Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental provincial governments.
The EO also mandated the creation of the Negros Island Development Council, the Negros Island Peace and Order Council, and the Negros Island Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
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