Degamo wants 4 provinces under NIR


The opposition of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo to the creation of the Negros Island Region took a new twist as he pushed for the creation of a “Bisaya” province under the proposed new region.

This was disclosed Wednesday by Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, who met with Degamo in Dumaguete City to discuss the creation of NIR.

Lacson said that Degamo has “put on the table the idea of creating the new region with four provinces.”

The counterproposal of Degamo is to create a new province that will also include “Bisaya” speaking towns and cities of Negros Occidental, like Sagay, Escalante, San Carlos and Toboso, all in Negros Occidental, and Vallehermoso in Negros Oriental.

This would level the playing field in terms of representation at the Regional Development Council, Degamo said.

The proposed NIR bill also includes Siquijor.

The difference in the dialect spoken by the two Negros provinces has been a major basis of Degamo in opposing the NIR, that was approved by both House and Senate committees on Local Government.

Degamo has repeatedly pointed out that the creation of NIR will put Negros Oriental at a disadvantage as it has only three districts compared to Negros Occidental which has seven, including the Lone District of Bacolod.

He also said that Negros Oriental has only six cities, compared to Negros Occidental which has 12.

This would also mean that there will be no equal sharing of resources and income, apart from language barrier, Degamo added.

Lacson said he respects the decision of Degamo to oppose the NIR, adding that he was hopeful though that once these concerns are ironed out, “perhaps he might reverse his decision.”

“We also came up with some possibilities that may somehow convince him,” he added.

“What is important is that we will continue to keep our lines open and this will not be the last time that we will sit down and talk and, maybe next time, I will be in a better position to answer the issues he raised,” Lacson added./GB