UNDERSECRETARY Austere Panadero of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Wednesday he remains optimistic that Negros Island Region (NIR) will remain.

Panadero, who was guest of honor at the opening of the 21st Sinigayan Festival in Sagay City Wednesday, said the Cabinet continues to review and restudy the concept of NIR operationalization as there is still a need for a complete staff work.

Panadero said that Negros Island Region, created in 2015 through an executive order issued by then President Benigno Aquino III, has been gaining improvements particularly on service delivery, according to a study.

“In terms of economic investment and management of natural resources, it is moving thus, on our level the push to retain NIR is 150 percent strong,” he added.

Support for NIR

Board Member Anabelle Bermudo, president of Liga ng mga Barangay in Negros Occidental, said Wednesday that National Liga president Edmund Abesamis and former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. have also pledged support for the retention of the NIR.

Bermudo said they pledged support before the 548 village chiefs from Negros Occidental during the Provincial Congress held on March 5 to 8 at Plaza Del Norte Hotel in Ilocos Norte.

Marcos and Abesamis were the guests of honor.

Bermudo said the Liga is helping lobby for the retention of the NIR, adding that both Marcos and Abesamis have been convinced to help in lobbying for the region to remain as they also see its importance. (EPN/TDE)