By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
According to Hublag Federalismo convenor and incoming Presidential Assistant for Economic Concerns Mary Jane Locsin, it is up to the Negros congressional delegation whether the now-defunct Negros Island Region (NIR) becomes a state if the country transitions to a federal form of government.
“It will depend on congressmen because they will make amendments and will have a say on the shift of government to federalism,” she said during a federalism forum in Isabela, Negros Occidental, yesterday. “If you think NIR is capable in terms of [the] economic, political, and cultural aspects of federalism, then go to your congressmen and lobby.”
She pointed out, the business sector plays a large role in the determination if an area qualifies as a state.
Last month, following the region’s dissolution, business groups from Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, including the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) and the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI), sought the creation of a Negros Island Special Area for Development.
Meanwhile, Task Force Kasanag Chairman John Chiong expressed his group’s support for federalism.
“We support federalism because each state will have independence unlike the present setup of government, where everything is centralized in the national government and in Metro Manila,” Chiong pointed out./DGB, WDJ