By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
In a recent local radio interview, People Power Commissioner Elgin Robert Damasco called the dissolution of the Negros Island Region (NIR) “a temporary setback,” reiterating the case made by Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno that the region was “too expensive for the national government.”
He said the push for federalism, a priority for the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, will “make way for Negros Island’s dream of becoming a one-state region.”
Damasco noted, part of the budget saved from the dissolution will go towards the construction of the Panay-Negros-Guimaras bridges.
“The bridge project will materialize before the term of the president ends,” he assured.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 38, effectively abolishing the NIR.
The region’s dissolution stemmed from Diokno quoting the cost of the region’s retention at P19 billion.
However, earlier this week, during his privilege speech before the House of Representatives, Negros Occidental second district Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva said the DBM figure was “not true.”/WDJ