DIRECTORS of regional line agencies in Negros Island Region (NIR) highlighted anew their accomplishments to help strengthen the report for the retention of the region.
During the special meeting Thursday of Negros Island Regional Development Council (NI-RDC) Infra Committee presided by Frank Carbon at
Nature’s Village Resort in Talisay City, the body gathered inputs from various regional directors to augment the report about NIR being prepared by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Negros Occidental Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Ma. Lina Sanogal said various line agencies presented their accomplishment reports since they started their operations under the new region.
She said that even if the regional offices are operating on a tight budget and limited resources in the past year, they have more than 100 percent accomplishments and some of them were even named best performing regional offices.
“This only shows that they have a successful first year and that budget constraints is not the reason the NIR cannot continue,” she added.
The budgets of the various regional offices were sourced from Regions 6 and 7 and from their respective central offices, she said.
Sanogal added that the regional directors are very committed to fasttrack the development of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.
Among the agencies that presented their reports were the DILG, National Economic Development Authority (Neda), Department of Trade and Industry, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine National Police, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Health, among others.
Despite the limited resources, majority of the regional offices exceeded their planned targets for 2015 and 2016, said NI-RDC Acting Secretary Carlo Gabriel Simbajon.
He added that it shows that NIR is not only at par with the other regions, but can also show outstanding performance.
Sanogal said the inputs gathered at the meeting will be submitted to the DILG central office next week as it will be presented by Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno to the Participatory Governance Cluster, which will be held last week of February, and during the Cabinet Meeting on the first week of March.
Sueno, who is pushing for the retention of NIR, remained optimistic that President Rodrigo Duterte and other Cabinet officials will support the new region.
He had earlier said that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Neda Director-General Ernesto Pernia are not supporting NIR.
Sueno’s office, along with the help of Neda and the Department of Budget and Management, is preparing a comprehensive stand explaining why there is a need to retain the NIR.
Last January 6, the Neda-18 submitted a paper to the DILG stating the benefits of retaining the NIR.
Former president Benigno Aquino III signed the executive order creating NIR, composed of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, on May 29, 2015. It separated Negros Occidental from Western Visayas, and Negros Oriental from Central Visayas.
Sanogal said retaining NIR will improve the economy of the Visayas.
“If the development of the provinces under NIR is faster, it is good for Visayas as it will also have a positive effect on other provinces,” she added.