THE president of the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI) said Wednesday, August 9, that they will respect the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte in abolishing the Negros Island Region (NIR).
NOCCI president Edward Du said they have come up with a common statement on the matter with the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), their counterpart in Negros Occidental.
President Duterte signed Executive Order 38 on August 7, 2017, revoking Executive Order 138 that created the NIR or the merging of the provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental as a one-island region.
NIR is also known as Region 18.
The President cited budgetary constraints as the main reason for the dissolution of the NIR.
With this, Negros Occidental will revert to Western Visayas (Region 6), while Negros Oriental will once more be under Central Visayas (Region 7).
Du said the news did not come as a surprise because they already knew of the possibility of the NIR being dissolved.
Despite the reversion of the two Negros provinces to their mother regions, Du said the programs and projects that both NOCCI and MBCCI laid out previously will go on as planned.
“For the private sector, we will continue with our joint projects, whether or not the RDC (regional development council) will convene for meetings, the private sector will continue with what we have started, especially on infrastructure,” Du said.
Both chambers are active in the committee on infrastructure, headed by MBCCI Frank Arbon as chair, and the committee on economic committee of the NIR-RDC with him as the chairman, Du said.
Duterte has directed the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to supervise the reversion of the different government agencies and offices and other instrumentalities from the defunct NIR to their mother units, and the abolition of the different regional councils and regional offices.
Du, meanwhile, expressed hope that the offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) will not be shut down following the abolition of the NIR despite the absence of a budget.
He noted that the DFA and PRC offices have served well not only constituents of Negros Oriental but other nearby areas as well, such as Siquijor and Dipolog. (PNA)