Senate eyes NIR bill approval in December

Posted by watchmen
August 14, 2023

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The Senate seeks to approve the bill establishing the Negros Island Region (NIR) by December of this year.

In a press conference, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, who was in Bacolod City over the weekend to check on the infrastructure projects in the city, said the Senate will start holding discussions regarding the NIR bill next month or before Congress goes on a break.

“We will be able to at least tackle it, debate on it. We’re hoping to do the second reading before the end of September,” he said.

“The NIR will be my gift to Negrenses as long as it is not vetoed,” he added.

He said he has already asked those who oppose the NIR bill to submit a strong argument, as he will also give his counter-argument.

The Senate president further said that Negros deserves to have a region of its own as the island is too big.

House Bill 7355, which seeks to establish the NIR, will help in terms of improving peace and order, and to bring in progress and development on the island and Siquijor, he said.

Siquijor island is included in the new NIR.

The bill was passed on the third and final reading in the House of Representatives in March.

The Senate president said the murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo will not be an obstacle to the realization of the NIR.

Earlier, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the signing of the NIR bill would be the best “Christmas present” for Negrenses if it was approved by December of this year./DGB, WDJ

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