THE Regional Development Council (RDC) in Western Visayas will meet the officials of Negros Occidental at the Bacolod City Government Center around 9:30 a.m. Friday, September 15.
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia will present their respective development agenda and proposed projects during the forum, which will be led by Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao, chairperson of RDC-Western Visayas.
The meeting is part of the 60-day winding up of operations following the abolition of the Negros Island Region (NIR).
Negros Occidental Provincial Planning and Development Officer Ma. Lina Sanogal said the Provincial Government will highlight its priority development plans not yet included in the RDC-Western Visayas.
The plan includes development initiatives, growth centers, and road networks in Negros Island to boost the inter-connectivity of the two provinces -- Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, she said.
The proposed networks connecting the two provinces are Himamaylan-Tayasan, Vallehermoso-San Carlos City, Canlaon City-San Carlos City, Guihulngan City-Isabela, Ayungon-Kabankalan City, and Bayawan City-Kabankalan City.
Marañon earlier said the proposed Himamaylan-Tayasan road is the shortest route to Negros Oriental, as it is only 35 kilometers long. The governor said the travel distance is shorter, compared to Kabankalan-Mabinay road, which has a distance of 65 kilometers.
The highway in Tayasan had already been completed, while the Negros Occidental side has yet to connect the road.
Moreover, Sanogal said that Cadiao had assured Negros Occidental officials that RDC will push for the major development projects in the province.
During the RDC-Western Visayas 3rd Quarter Meeting in Kalibo, Aklan, on September 8, Cadiao said the dialogue is meant to show the officials of Negros Occidental that RDC is committed to provide Negrenses full support in the pursuit of their development agenda and in pushing for their major development projects.
A series of consultation meetings was also conducted in the past weeks to fast-track the integration of Negros Occidental to Western Visayas.
The dissolution of the NIR reverted Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental to Western Visayas and Central Visayas, respectively.
The regional offices under NIR will shut down their operations by October 9, or 60 days after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 38 abolishing the region.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on September 15, 2017.
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