NEGRENSES took to social media to highlight the campaign to stop the abolition of the Negros Island Region (NIR), following reports that the executive order (EO) creating the region will be repealed.
On Thursday night, the “Prayer for NIR,” posted beside a figure of a young girl praying on bended knees, circulated on Facebook.
Part of the prayer said, “Our Father in Heaven, we come to you with humility in our hearts… Today, we humbly seek your face in the midst of desolation and fear for our beloved Negros Island Region.”
Lord, enlighten the mind of our President to think about the future of the five million Negrenses,” it further said.
The prayer ended with: “Give him the wisdom to listen to the voices of the Negrenses and most importantly, arm him with the courage to say “No, I will not sign the EO.”
Also circulating on Facebook are various hashtags calling to stop the abolition of the NIR. These include #5MillionNegrense, #Save NIR, #YesToNIR accompanied with the statement “Because a 20-year dream deserves a reality,” referring to the two decades of Negrense campaign
for a one-island region.
Facebook pages were also set up calling to save NIR, including one enjoining Negrenses to wear black shirt, arm band, ribbon, or baller from October 15 to November 5 to show their love for NIR.
On twitter, the hashtag saveNIR (#saveNIR) posted today, October 14, is also gaining momentum.
— Philippine Stocks (@philippinestock) October 14, 2016
On Tuesday, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the EO rescinding the NIR is now at the Office of the President and is awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Diokno added that spending P19 billion for the NIR would be “useless” with the proposal to shift to a federal government under the Duterte administration.
Prayer at the Capitol
A day after he called for prayers, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. was joined by Fr. Felix Pasquin, rector of San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City, at the Governor’s Office for a prayer, together with the heads of Capitol offices.
“Realize our dreams,” was the highlight of the prayer.
“Lord, this is the land of our birth, the land that we love. We are part of it and part of its rich heritage,” Pasquin’s prayer said.
It added: “Rule among our national leaders so that we may attain the dreams that we have for our island-region. Make us realize our faith in your divine Providence makes us hopeful that, like the chosen people, we shall reach the promised land, that our dream our island-region will be a reality.”
“We, the Negrenses, are in need to make real the NIR we have aspired and worked for. We know you will not refuse our prayers as we do it for your praise and glory and the good of our people,” the prayer further said.
Bacolod SP joins plea
In Bacolod City, the City Council approved a resolution Wednesday, appealing to the President not to pursue the proposed abolition and reconsider allocating the budget needed for its establishment.
The resolution, authored by Councilor Ceasar Distrito, stated that the NIR is home to at least 4.4 million Filipinos who are grateful for the region’s creation since “it has been our life-long dream to have a one-island region and its realization is rewarding to us.”
The establishment of the NIR has already benefited Negrosanons, particularly in the smooth delivery of basic services as well as the easier and faster transactions in obtaining permits and licenses, it added.
The resolution further said that “reverting the Negros provinces to what region they once belonged will certainly be very difficult to the regional offices that were already established, to the local government unit, and to the millions of Negrosanons who are praying that the abolition will not prosper.” (with reports from Teresa D. Ellera and Merlinda A. Pedrosa/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 14, 2016.
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