NEGROS Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson is hoping for the passage of the law creating the Negros Island Region (NIR) this year.

"I was informed Wednesday night, March 1, by Sixth District Rep. Mercedes Alvarez about the passage of the NIR bill by the Congress on second reading. It's a positive development, and I would like to thank the efforts of our congressmen to make the new region happen," Lacson said.

He said that it's already automatic that the bill will be passed on the third and final reading.

"It looks like it's really going to happen. It would be a nice Christmas gift to have a new region if they could pass and sign it into law," he said.

"We now have to wait for the Senate's version," the governor said.

The governor noted that many of the senators made a campaign promise to support a new region this year.

If the NIR bill can be passed into law this year, maybe we can wait instead of the President issuing an executive order creating the new region.

Passed on second reading via an omnibus motion were House Bill (HB) Nos. 3092, 6372, 6932, 7156, 7234, 7235, 7295, 7296, 7297, 7299, 7300, 7302, 7303, 7304, and 7355 for the NIR creation.

Meanwhile, Lacson said he plans to call Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo to tell him about the passage of the NIR bill on second reading and get his sentiments about it.*