MANILA -- The Philippines is now composed of 18 regions, after President Benigno Aquino III signed Executive Order 183, joining the two Negros provinces into one region.
E.O. 183, signed May 29, created the Negros Island Region (NIR), which combined Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental into one region.
The two provinces were formerly part of two separate regions. Negros Occidental used to be part of Region VI (Western Visayas) while Negros Oriental was part of Region VII (Central Visayas).
Part of the executive order creating the new region is the creation of regional councils that will focus on the different aspects of ensuring the new region's well-being.
Among the regional councils created are the Development Council led by the National Economic and Development Authority; Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council led by the Office of Civil Defense; and the Peace and Order Council led by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
In a statement, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas said the creation of a single island region is part of the Aquino administration's "Daang Matuwid" agenda.
"Along the Daang Matuwid, our main goal is to achieve growth in which no one falls or is left behind. The One Island Region is one way we have fulfilled this promise to our countrymen. This is not just the union of cities, municipalities, and barangays; it is also the union of our dreams. And through your continued trust, we will together realize a safer, more prosperous, and more peaceful One Negros Island Region."