THE cities of Bacolod and Dumaguete in Negros Occidental and Oriental, respectively, will host the regional line agency offices under the new Negros Island Region (NIR) bill to be filed by all congressmen in Negros as the 19th Congress opens on July 1, an official said.

Reelected Negros Occidental Third District Representative Jose Francisko "Kiko" Benitez, on the sidelines of his inauguration and oath-taking held at the Magikland Theme Park in Silay City over the weekend, said the main offices for infrastructure type agencies would be in Bacolod City with branches and extension offices in Dumaguete City.

Also based on their agreement in the proposed bill, Benitez said social welfare agencies will be in Dumaguete with extension branches in Bacolod.

"All of us [congressmen] in Negros Island have agreed to file together. Three from oriental, seven from occidental with [Abang Lingkod Party-list] Congressman Joseph Stephen Paduano," he said, confirming that "Siquijor wants to join."

In 2015, former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III signed Executive Order (EO) 183, creating NIR as measure to boost the economic and social development of two Negros provinces.

Under which, the regional centers are supposed to be established at the boundary of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental and Mabinay, Negros Oriental.

But two years later, President Rodrigo Duterte, through another EO, abolished the NIR, citing lack of funds.

Benitez, in his inaugural speech, said the revival of NIR is one of the legislative measures he will be pushing at the House of Representatives.

"In fact, it will be the first bill we will be filing in the 19th Congress," the two-termer lawmaker said.

He also expressed optimism that the measure will succeed this time under the administration of incoming President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

His brother, incoming Mayor Alfredo Benitez, who attended his inauguration, said some Cabinet officials of Marcos are amenable to the reestablishment of NIR.

"In every administration, I am always optimistic. We will work hard, we will try," the congressman said.