TOP officials in Negros Occidental have contradicting stand on the proposed issuance of an executive order creating the Negros Island Region (NIR) by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. ahead of the passage of the law.

While Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he is backing the proposal, Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said Tuesday, January 24, that it is better to wait for the law so that everything will be consolidated.

He said, "Why not wait for the law instead so that we can consolidate everything? Because what if you put up sub-regional offices here and the law may take a long time to be passed?"

He added that putting up sub-regional offices entails additional finances.

The creation of sub-regional offices is being proposed by Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez.

"If we are just content with sub-regional offices here, we should have asked for it a long time ago," Ferrer pointed out.

He said that he is not against the proposals, but stressed that "since we already have a pending bill, we might as well wait for its passage."

Meanwhile, Ferrer claimed the opposition to the creation of NIR by Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo was due to "local politics."

He said that Degamo is opposed to the NIR bill because Teves is one of its authors.

Degamo took over the governorship in Negros Oriental from former Governor Pryde Teves after the Commission on Elections ruled in his favor after an electoral protest

Meanwhile, Negros Occidental 6th District Rep. Mercedes Alvarez said an EO can influence and hasten the passage of the bill.

The House Committee on Local Government has approved the substitute bill establishing the NIR.

Alvarez, in a text message Tuesday, said that she just checked with the Committee on Local Government and told her that they did not receive any word from Degamo.*