AMID the abolition of the Negros Island Region (NIR), the proposed six road networks connecting Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental are still among the priority projects.
Ma. Lina Sanogal, Negros Occidental Provincial Planning and Development officer, said Thursday, August 31, the proposal was part of the infrastructure development and road network mapping endorsed by then Negros Island-Regional Development Council (NI-RDC).
The proposed joint undertaking by the two provinces will “connect the island” from different localities and will also increase the access roads.
At present, it is being downloaded to the Regional Development Plans of Western Visayas and Central Visayas.
The identified programs and projects for Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental will also be turned over to Western Visayas and Central Visayas, respectively.
Sanogal said these programs will be implemented by the two Provincial Governments.
She pointed out that the RDC endorses the priority programs to the National Government then the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Board will forward it to the concerned line agencies for appropriation and implementation.
Sanogal said the proposed six road networks in NI will most likely be implemented in 2019.
Deliberations for the national budget next year have already started, she added.
The six road networks connecting Negros Occidental and Oriental are those of Vallehermoso-San Carlos City, Canlaon City-San Carlos City, Guihulngan City-Isabela, Tayasan-Himamaylan, Ayungon-Kabankalan City, and Bayawan City-Kabankalan City.
The Department of Public Works and Highways will be in-charge of conducting the study and survey since these are national roads.
Sanogal said the agency will also determine the portions (of the road) for the two provinces. The budget for Negros Occidental’s side will go to its Engineering District, the same for Negros Oriental.
She said it’s important that somebody will push for the priority projects for Negros Island in the National Government, which assured the Negrenses that basic services and programs will not be affected following the abolition of the young region.
Earlier, Neda Undersecretary for Regional Operations Adoracion Navarro said that programs and projects with inter-jurisdictional concerns can still be jointly pursued by the two provinces even if NIR is already abolished.
These programs will be tackled in the two RDCs while budget allocation would depend on the component, she added.
The regional offices under NIR should shut down their operations by October 9, or 60 days after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 38 abolishing the region.
Following the abolition of NIR, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental will revert to their previous regions, Western Visayas and Central Visayas, respectively.