GOVERNOR Alfredo Marañon Jr. said he agrees with the proposal of Interior and Local Government Manuel Roxas II that the implementation of the one-island region for Negros could be done gradually to cut costs.

Roxas, in a meeting with Negrense officials Tuesday, pointed out the needed budgetary requirements for the establishment of regional offices for the new Negros Island Region. Read the related story here.

At present, Negros Occidental is part of-Western Visayas where its regional center is located in Iloilo, while Negros Oriental is part of Central Visayas where its regional center is in Cebu.

Marañon said that during the transition period, the existing sub- regional offices in the two provinces could temporarily function as regional offices.

Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said that although it is hard for provincial offices to function as regional offices, it may work during the transitory period.

Lacson also said that Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo attended the consultative meeting between the two provinces for the first time and it made a difference.

"Secretary Roxas stressed that we still have homework to do and we need more data to justify the creation of the one-island region. Although Governor Degamo mentioned that he will create a task force and will conduct a feasibility study, on our part in Negros Occidental, we are already in agreement that we should go with the one-island region," Lacson said.

Marañon said all the needed data for the feasibility study will be provided to Degamo, who was absent during the One Negros Island Region Summit held earlier this month in Kabankalan City after it was reported that he has reservations about the proposed one-island region.

Lacson said that it is a positive development that Negros Oriental agreed to host the next meeting in their area.