By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Ma. Lina Sanogal yesterday confirmed the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) regional offices for the Negros Island Region (NIR) were withdrawn after the region was not included in the 2018 national budget.
The provincial official noted, both offices proposed utilizing their respective provincial offices instead.
Sanogal said she is looking forward to the prospect of NIR in a federal system of government.
“We just hope the two Negros provinces will continue to be together in one federal state,” she said. “We are looking forward to federalism because all regions will be revoked once we shift to a federal government.”
Sanogal also confirmed the NIR still exists as President Rodrigo Duterte has not signed the executive order requesting its abolition, adding bodies including the Regional Development Council, the Peace and Order Council, and Regional Disaster Council are still meeting regularly to formulate projects and programs for the region.
The national budget is currently being deliberated in the House of Representatives./WDJ