THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will solicit the help of the directors of regional line agencies in Negros Island Region (NIR) to "strengthen" its report seeking to retain the young region.

Negros Occidental Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Ma. Lina Sanogal, who met with the DILG technical working group at the agency's office in Manila on Tuesday, said they were shown the NIR report, which is based on the data they provided last year, for their comments and inputs.

She also said they were asked to gather the 2016 accomplishment reports of the regional line agencies.

The regional directors will also be asked to submit the operational costs they incurred last year and the comparative evaluation of their service delivery under the NIR and the previous regions, Sanogal said.

She reiterated that retaining the NIR will fasttrack the development of both Negros provinces.

Sanogal added that there will be holistic approach towards disaster management, security operations, environmental protection, and economic development in Negros Island should it be retained.

DILG, along with the assistance of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), is preparing a comprehensive presentation that will show why there is a need to retain the NIR.

DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno, who is pushing for its retention, remained optimistic that President Rodrigo Duterte and other Cabinet officials will support the existence of NIR.

He had earlier said that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Neda Director-General Ernesto Pernia are not supporting NIR.

On May 29, 2015, former president Benigno Aquino III signed the executive order creating the NIR, composed of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.

It separated Negros Occidental from Western Visayas, and Negros Oriental from Central Visayas.