Marcos to Sign NIR Law – Zubiri: Uniting Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor under one administrative region

Sen. Juan Miguel 'Migz” Zubiri. TMT photo
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Zubiri, in a recent interview, emphasized the importance of the NIR Act in promoting economic development and improving governance in the region. He highlighted that the unification of these provinces would create a more cohesive and efficient government structure, allowing for better allocation of resources and implementation of development projects. Moreover, the creation of the NIR would also facilitate coordination and collaboration among local government units, leading to more effective delivery of public services to the people.
The Senate President further explained that the Negros Island Region has long been advocating for its own administrative region status, as it believes that this would address the unique needs and challenges faced by the area. By consolidating the resources and efforts of the three provinces, the NIR Act seeks to enhance the region’s competitiveness, attract investments, and spur economic growth.
Zubiri expressed optimism that President Marcos Jr. would support the NIR Act, given his previous statements on empowering local governments and promoting regional development. He noted that the President has consistently emphasized the importance of decentralization and empowering local communities, which aligns with the objectives of the NIR Act.
Furthermore, Zubiri highlighted the broad support for the NIR Act among the local government officials, civil society organizations, and business sectors in the region. He emphasized that the proposal has undergone extensive consultations and discussions, taking into account the concerns and aspirations of various stakeholders. This inclusive and participatory approach, according to Zubiri, has resulted in a well-crafted bill that addresses the specific needs and aspirations of the Negros Island Region.
In conclusion, Senate President Zubiri’s confidence in President Marcos Jr. signing the NIR Act into law stems from the bill’s alignment with the President’s vision of empowering local governments and promoting regional development. The proposed legislation aims to bring together Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor under one administrative region, with the goal of enhancing governance, promoting economic growth, and improving the delivery of public services. With the widespread support for the NIR Act among various stakeholders, Zubiri believes that the bill has a strong chance of becoming law and ushering in a new era of progress and development for the Negros Island Region.

Support from District Representatives and Local Officials

The overwhelming support for the NIR Act from district representatives and local officials in the three provinces of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor has been instrumental in its successful implementation. These dedicated individuals have recognized the potential benefits that the creation of the Negros Island Region can bring to their communities and have actively championed its cause.
Negros Occidental, currently belonging to Region 6, has long been a powerhouse in the agricultural industry. With its vast sugarcane plantations and thriving eco-tourism destinations, the province has consistently contributed to the economic growth of the region. Recognizing the need for a more focused and streamlined approach to development, the district representatives and local officials of Negros Occidental have rallied behind the NIR Act. They understand that a separate administrative region would allow for more targeted policies and programs that cater specifically to the unique needs and challenges of Negros Island.
Similarly, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, currently under Region 7, have also shown unwavering support for the creation of the Negros Island Region. Negros Oriental, known for its breathtaking natural wonders and vibrant marine ecosystems, has always been a favorite tourist destination. The district representatives and local officials of Negros Oriental recognize that a separate administrative region would enable them to harness the full potential of their natural resources and promote sustainable tourism practices that benefit both the environment and the local communities.
Siquijor, on the other hand, is a small but culturally rich province that has been gaining recognition as an emerging tourist hotspot. Its pristine beaches, mystical caves, and enchanting folklore attract visitors from all over the world. The district representatives and local officials of Siquijor understand that the creation of the Negros Island Region would provide them with a stronger platform to showcase their unique cultural heritage and further develop their tourism industry.
The support from district representatives and local officials has not only been limited to voicing their approval for the NIR Act but also to actively working towards its successful implementation. They have collaborated with each other, engaged in consultations with stakeholders, and provided valuable input in the planning and execution of various initiatives aimed at realizing the vision of a prosperous and sustainable Negros Island Region.
In conclusion, the support from district representatives and local officials in Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor has been crucial in advancing the cause of the Negros Island Region. Their dedication and commitment to the development of their respective provinces have paved the way for a brighter future for the people of Negros Island. With their continued support and collaboration, the Negros Island Region is poised to become a model of effective governance and sustainable development in the Philippines. The creation of the Negros Island Region (NIR) is seen as a significant step towards providing efficient and accessible government services to the people of Negros. Senate President Zubiri, being a proponent of the NIR, understands the struggles faced by the residents of Negros when it comes to transacting with regional government offices. Traveling long distances, crossing by ferry or plane to Iloilo or Cebu, can be burdensome and time-consuming. Therefore, the establishment of the NIR aims to alleviate these challenges and bring government services closer to the people.
With the House of Representatives already adopting the Senate version of the NIR Act, the legislation is now awaiting transmission to the President for his signature. Senate President Zubiri is optimistic that the law will be signed soon, and he assures the public that the Senate is fully prepared to push for the proper funding of the NIR for the year 2025. This commitment to funding demonstrates the government’s dedication to ensuring the success and sustainability of the NIR.
In his gratitude, Senate President Zubiri acknowledges the efforts of the Negros representatives and local officials, including Governor Bong Lacson, Governor Chaco Sagarbarria, and Governor Jake Vincent Villa. Their collaboration with him and Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito in spearheading and fine-tuning the bill in the Senate has been instrumental in bringing the NIR closer to reality.
Senator Ejercito emphasizes that the NIR law is not just about administrative reorganization but also about strengthening local autonomy and promoting the overall development of the region. He believes that the establishment of the NIR will accelerate economic growth, preserve and promote the region’s rich cultural heritage, and improve the quality of life for the people of Negros. By providing a dedicated regional government, the NIR will have the ability to address the specific needs and aspirations of the Negrenses, fostering a sense of pride and ownership among the local communities.
In conclusion, the creation of the NIR is a significant milestone in the quest for efficient and accessible government services for the people of Negros. With the support and dedication of key stakeholders, including Senate President Zubiri, Senator Ejercito, and local officials, the NIR is poised to become a catalyst for economic, cultural, and social development in the region. As the law awaits the President’s signature, the people of Negros can look forward to a future where their needs are prioritized, and their voices are heard within a dedicated regional government structure. The establishment of the NIR in 2015 was a significant development for the people of Negros. Through Executive Order (EO) 183, the government recognized the need for a more streamlined and efficient administrative region that would cater to the specific needs and aspirations of the Negrenses. This move was met with enthusiasm and optimism, as it was seen as a step towards enhancing local autonomy and promoting the overall development of the region.
However, just two years later, the NIR was abolished through EO 38. This decision came as a surprise to many, as it seemed to undo the progress that had been made in establishing the region. The abolition of the NIR left many Negrenses feeling disappointed and disillusioned, as they had hoped that the region would continue to grow and prosper under a unified administrative structure.
Fortunately, the proposed NIR Act aims to revive and formalize the administrative region, ensuring its continued development and progress. By signing this act into law, President Marcos Jr. has the opportunity to show his support for the aspirations of the people of Negros. The consolidation of the provinces under one administrative region would not only enhance local autonomy but also promote economic growth, cultural preservation, and social advancement.
The NIR Act is not just a piece of legislation; it is a symbol of the government’s commitment to the well-being of the Negrenses. It signifies a recognition of the region’s unique identity and the importance of empowering its residents to shape their own future. With the NIR Act in place, Negros can harness its full potential and become a thriving hub of economic activity, cultural diversity, and social progress.
Furthermore, the NIR Act would provide a more efficient and accessible government for the people of Negros. With a unified administrative structure, there would be better coordination and collaboration among the provinces, leading to improved service delivery and governance. This would translate into tangible benefits for the residents, such as faster and more reliable public services, better infrastructure development, and increased opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.
Moreover, the NIR Act would also facilitate the preservation and promotion of Negros’ rich cultural heritage. The region is known for its vibrant festivals, traditional crafts, and culinary delights. With a dedicated administrative region, there would be greater support and resources available for the preservation and promotion of these cultural treasures. This, in turn, would boost tourism and create economic opportunities for local communities.
In conclusion, the establishment and subsequent abolition of the NIR have been significant milestones in the history of Negros. The proposed NIR Act represents a chance to revive and formalize the administrative region, ensuring its continued development and progress. By signing this act into law, President Marcos Jr. would demonstrate his commitment to the well-being of the Negrenses and pave the way for a brighter future for the region. The consolidation of the provinces under one administrative region would not only enhance local autonomy but also promote economic growth, cultural preservation, and social advancement. It is a significant step towards realizing the full potential of Negros and fostering the well-being of its residents.

Source: The Manila Times

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