BACOLOD CITY – Petitioners gathered on Tuesday at the Bacolod Public Plaza to show their support for the retention of the Negros Island Region (NIR).
They also launched a signature campaign in support of the NIR.
According to Jun Ano, regional coordinator of Sanlakas-Negros Island Region (NIR), their gathering coincided with a hearing at Congress regarding the NIR.
They mean to show that the masses are also supporting the retention of the NIR, said Ano, and are calling on President Rodrigo Duterte not to sign the executive order dissolving the NIR.
Sanlakas and its partner organizations believe the NIR will not incur costs for the government, Ano said, as it will be able to operate on a status quo budget.
In addition, they claimed that access to regional offices will be easier, and integrated development planning more focused under the NIR.
The NIR was created in 2015, when then President Benigno Aquino III signed Executive Order 183, joining Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental into one region and creating regional councils which aimed to focus on different aspects of regional governance.
In October, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Maranon Jr. called on Duterte to refrain from repealing EO 183, and led the signing of a manifesto supporting the NIR.