Economically viable? Lacson: NIR reestablishment should not be based on cost

Posted by watchmen
September 12, 2023
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The reestablishment of the Negros Island Region (NIR) should not be based on cost, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday morning.

“If that’s the basis, we will never have the chance,” Lacson admitted.

Lacson responded to Senator Imee Marcos’ statement when she visited Bacolod City on September 8.

The senator said establishing another region always ends up being an economic effort, adding that it would be expensive as government agencies would set up new regional offices.

“If you are going to set up a new area, it should be viable economically. It should be worth it because you will be setting up offices, and that’s costly,” Marcos said.

However, Lacson said “financial viability” is another reason that has been used before.

“It may be costly, but the economic impact on both provinces is tremendous,” Lacson said.

“I am hoping that with the help of those who are committed to help, especially with the senators, we will finally see the light of having an NIR,” he added.

Lacson cited the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao also costs “a lot of money.”

Meanwhile, Marcos, in a statement late Sunday night, September 10, said she never stated that she was “not keen” on the move to revive the NIR.

The senator said the NIR bill requires further study, as there is no updated data presented in the Senate.

“We need to convince the economic managers that putting NIR back on the map is actually viable considering the circumstances at the moment,” she said.

She also clarified that she is very aware of the issues surrounding the NIR’s passage.

The senator said late governors Alfredo Marañon, Jr. of Negros Occidental and Roel Degamo of Negros Oriental presented their concerns as members of the League of Governors before.

Marcos said she would support whatever is the will of the people in Negros island.

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

Under the proposed measure, the NIR will be composed of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and Siquijor provinces./DGB, WDJ


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