THE Technical Working Group of the Negros Island Region (NIR) will hold its first meeting today, June 19, to start drafting the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the new region.

Members of the Negros Occidental panel led by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. were already in Metro Manila since Thursday. Negros Oriental panel members are also attending the meeting.

“This would be a historic event as this would be the first time that the TWG would be sitting down for the IRR," former governor Rafael Coscolluela, a member of the Negros Occidental panel said.

The TWG is composed of representatives from the Office of the President, Department of Budget and Management, National Economic Development Authority, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and representatives of the two provinces.

TWG is tasked to formulate a roadmap to put in place the institutional arrangements.

The chairs of the Regional Development Council, Regional Peace and Order Council, and the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council are expected to be chosen today.

Coscolluela said there is a need to hasten the completion of the IRR and the composition of the three vital regional councils so that the budget for the new region would be included in the 2016 General Appropriations Act.

“We have a very short time in so far as timeline is concerned, so we need to hasten things. Our target is September to finish the IRR," he added.

Coscolluela said that once the chairs of the councils are nominated, the list would be submitted to President Aquino who will choose the chairs for the NIR.

“We leave it to the President to finally appoint the chairs for RDC, RDMMC, and RPOC,” he said.