THE proposal of the provincial governments of Oriental and Occidental Negros to form a one-island region is a welcome move to big businessmen and big political figures in these two provinces.
However, to the ordinary Juan de la Cruz in the mountains and in the rural areas, this is of no significance. Whether we have a one-island region or no-island region, this will just be another political advantage to people who have political and financial interests.
Why have they not thought of this when they divided the country into different regions? Internet sources gave me this history of the regionalization of the country. Regions first came to existence in on September 24, 1972 when the provinces of the Philippines were organized into 11 regions by Presidential Decree No. 1 as part of the Integrated Reorganization Plan of President Ferdinand Marcos.
Since that time, other regions have been created and some provinces have been transferred from one region to another.
July 7, 1975 - Soccsksargen region created and minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions.
August 21, 1975 - Zamboanga Peninsula divided into Sub-Region IX-A and Sub-Region IX-B. Minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions.
November 7, 1975 - National Capital Region created.
August 1, 1989 - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao created.
October 23, 1989 - Cordillera Administrative Region created.
October 12, 1990 - Executive Order issued to reorganize the Mindanao regions but the reorganization never happened (possibly due to lack of government funds).
February 23, 1995 - Region XIII (Caraga) created and minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions.
1997 - Minor reorganization of some Mindanao regions.
September 19, 2001 - Most Mindanao regions reorganized and some renamed.
May 17, 2002 - Region IV-A (Calabarzon) and Region IV-B (Mimaropa) created from the former Region IV (Southern Tagalog).
May 23, 2005 - Palawan transferred from Mimaropa to Western Visayas;
Mimaropa renamed to Mimaro.
August 19, 2005 - Palawan - The E.O. 429 of May 23, 2005 transferring Palawan from Mimaropa to Western Visayas was later held in abeyance by Administrative Order No. 129.
Western Visayas was created by the think-tanks of the Marcos regime. With no historical reasons or consideration as to the division of the regions of the province, it is very optimistic and very viable to create a one-island region. This will be the best reason for the framers to make.
Although, looking at it seems to favor many in Negros Occidental for we no longer need to go to Panay for processing of regional papers and no need for the people of the Oriental to go to Cebu. However, this would not uplift the economic conditions of the people of Negros. The poor will always be poorer and subservient to the whims and caprices of the political and elite groups in the province.
I warn all Negrenses and all those pushing for a one-island region. Let this issue be of itself and not of other political forces from the imperial regions. It will now be easy for them to get one tray of votes from this region. They are around us and courting us to give them their votes as they push their political careers upward.
I wish that this issue will be vigilantly observed and criticized by every Negrense for somehow this will change the shape of how we do things. We always hope for the betterment of the generations to come and not to suffer from the results of our ill-fated decisions.
St. Ezekiel Moreno, Sts. Pedro Calungsod and Lorenzo Ruiz, Pope St. John Paul II, Mons. John Liu and John Su; and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.