House passes bill creating Negros Island Region

Photo by Analy Labor

Congress has ticked another item on the Marcos government’s list of priority measures.

House Bill 7355, or the proposed law that aims to create the Negros Island Region in the Visayas, was passed on third and final reading unanimously on Monday, mustering 290 affirmative votes during nominal voting.

The measure consolidates three other bills.

The bill seeks to establish the NIR, including the provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays of Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Bacolod City, and the island province of Siquijor.

The formation of the NIR has been a dream for the region’s legislators, who believe it would foster progress and solidarity among their constituents.

The bill calls for forming a Negros Island technical working group comprising representatives from the Office of the President, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Governors’ Offices of the respective provinces.

The bill directs all national government departments, bureaus, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations and government financial institutions, to fully support the NIR-TWG’s functions and activities.

On May 2015, the late President Benigno Aquino III created the Negros Island region, dividing Negros Occidental from Western Visayas and Negros Oriental from Central Visayas. On August 2017, the law was abolished by former President Rodrigo Duterte through the issuance of Executive Order 38.

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