Disproportionate impact? Lacson: Negros Oriental will not be put at disadvantage in NIR

Posted by watchmen
April 13, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE


Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson assured that Negros Oriental will not be put at a disadvantage if the Negros Island Region (NIR) is established.

This, after the Diocese of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental requested President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to veto Senate Bill 2507, establishing the NIR, for “lack of fair, just and truthful consultation.”

“Like I told the late [Negros Oriental] Governor Roel Degamo, Negros Occidental won’t put Oriental at a disadvantage,” he said.

Lacson also wondered why the diocese expressed opposition to the creation of NIR only now.

“I’m just wondering why they are coming up with it now. Why not when it was being deliberated in both Houses of Congress,” he said.

Asked if he is concerned that NIR’s approval will be derailed because of the diocese’s position, Lacson said, “Let us put our trust in the President to make the decision based on all available data he has in his hands.”

The Diocese of Dumaguete, in their letter dated March 25, appealed to Marcos to veto the NIR bill due to “lack of information dissemination and the absence of public consultation with diverse sectors and stakeholders.”

The diocese covers Negros Oriental towns and cities from Jimalalud town in the north to Basay town in the south, and Siquijor province.

They also cited reasons for opposing the NIR establishment, such as “disproportionate impact” on less privileged sectors, unequal distribution of resource allocation and representation, and the threat to exacerbate existing inequalities.

Negros Oriental has fewer congressional districts compared to Negros Occidental.

Earlier, Marcos Jr., during his visit to Bacolod City on Monday, April 8, made an assurance to sign into law the NIR bill.

“It makes sense because it is difficult for those in Oriental and Occidental to go to the regional centers,” Marcos said.

“So I will sign it,” he said.

However, he did not mention when he would sign the NIR bill.

“It has been a problem for so long already until we can consolidate and put it all together properly,” Marcos said.

“It’s very hard to bring services to the people,” the President added.

The Senate passed the NIR bill on the third and final reading in March of this year, creating a new region consisting of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

The bill seeks to improve the delivery of basic government services on Negros Island, through the establishment of regional government offices, and to promote decentralization to strengthen local autonomy.

Negros Occidental currently belongs to Western Visayas, while Negros Oriental and Siquijor are under Central Visayas./JB, WDJ

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