President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (3rd from left) on Monday, April 8, led the ceremonial energization of the newly-completed Cebu-Negros-Panay 230KV Backbone Project of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (3rd from left) on Monday, April 8, led the ceremonial energization of the newly-completed Cebu-Negros-Panay 230KV Backbone Project of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City.Presidential Communications Office photo

‘IT MAKES SENSE’ | Marcos assures Negrenses of signing NIR law

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday, April 8, distributed 4,724 Certificates of Land Ownership Award and Electronic Titles to 2,797 agrarian reform beneficiaries in Negros Occidental.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday, April 8, distributed 4,724 Certificates of Land Ownership Award and Electronic Titles to 2,797 agrarian reform beneficiaries in Negros Occidental.Presidential Communications Office photo

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. assured the Negrenses on Monday, April 8, that he will sign a law creating the Negros Island Region (NIR).

"I think it makes sense because it's very difficult for Oriental to be serviced in the regional office. Until we can consolidate and put it all together properly. Right now, it's not like that. It's  very hard to bring government services to the people and that's the reason behind the push for making it a single region to have its own regional office," Marcos said in an ambush interview with the local media during the ceremonial energization and inauguration of the newly-completed Cebu-Negros-Panay 230KV

Backbone Project of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City.

"I will sign it," the president said.

The NIR Act will split regional offices between Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, creating new growth areas.

It is expected to contribute to the region’s ease of doing business by empowering residents and instilling investor confidence in its capacity to facilitate efficient government transactions.

The Senate approved the long-awaited legislation on its third and final reading last month.

BACKBONE PROJECT

Marcos conducted an aerial inspection of the Cebu-Negros-Panay (CNP) transmission line towers at the Bacolod-Gahit Transmission Line, Bacolod Station before the inauguration.

The project is aimed at solving the power supply problems that have plagued the Western Visayan region.

Marcos, in his message, encouraged energy stakeholders and private generators to invest in the Negros and Panay energy infrastructure to meet the region's long term-term power demands as well as boost development.

"While the CNP is a major step forward, I implore all stakeholders in the Visayas to strategically identify suitable locations and host new baseload generation plants, as well as renewable energy and energy storage systems. This will bolster energy sufficiency and sustainability in Negros and Panay Islands," the president said.

"I encourage private generators to invest in the Negros and Panay sub-grids so that the region can meet its energy demands and ensure self-sufficiency in the long run," he said.

Marcos said the collaboration of government agencies, local government units, and private landowners "will prove crucial in this endeavor, particularly in expediting permit issuance for energy projects and facilitating the acquisition of the right-of-way for transmission lines and distribution systems."

He said the completion of the NGCP project is "a milestone in the country's pursuit to enhance the energy resilience and reliability, as it resolves the power supply challenges that have plagued the Negros and Panay sub-grids, which have caused serious regional economic setbacks."

According to the President, the CNP will also address the surging energy demands in the area and propel the socio-economic advancement of Western and Central Visayas considering its about 16 million population.

"The contribution of the two regions to our economy was a robust 2.24 trillion pesos in 2022," Marcos said, adding, "as their population and economy expand, their power supply must too."

No region can be an economic powerhouse without a reliable power supply, Marcos pointed out.

Aside from leading the ceremonial energization of the Backbone Project at the Bacolod Substation, the president also conducted an aerial inspection of the Bacolod-Gahit Transmission Line and a site inspection of the Bacolod Substation.

The P67.9 billion CNP 230-kV Backbone Project, composed of CNP1, CNP2, CNP3, and Negros-Panay Interconnection Project Line 2 (NPIP L2), is intended to strengthen the grid and improve the reliability of power transmission in the islands of Cebu, Negros and Panay.

The project will allow the increased transfer capacity among Cebu, Negros, and Panay islands and the dispatch of excess capacities from Mindanao to meet the demand in the Visayas grid. It will also accommodate the development of new power plants in the Visayas grid.

The project involves the construction of a high-voltage transmission line and associated substations to connect the islands of Cebu, Negros, and Panay.

The NGCP, the country's sole transmission service provider, is a fully private corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country's power grids. It is responsible for ensuring reliable and efficient electric power from generation to distribution utilities and grid-connected loads.

Bacolod City Rep. Greg Gasataya, Mayor Alfredo Benitez, and some city officials were present during the event.

CLOA DISTRIBUTION

Marcos, meanwhile, distributed 4,724 Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) and Electronic Titles (e-titles) to 2,797 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Negros Occidental as part of the administration’s commitment to distribute land titles to all beneficiaries. 

“Ang ating pagtitipon dito sa Bago City ay patunay na ang inyong pamahalaan, sa pangunguna ng Department of Agrarian Reform, ay hindi tumitigil sa pagtupad ng aming pangako na mamahagi ng mga lupang sakahan sa ating mga benepisyaryo,” Marcos said in his speech during the distribution of land titles.

Of the 4,724 land titles distributed by Marcos in Bago City, a total of 2,828 titles will be distributed to 1,551 ARBs in the northern part of Negros Occidental and 1,896 titles to 1,246 ARBs in the southern part of the province.

Marcos said the distribution of the CLOAs and the e-titles is part of the more than 11,000 titles that will be distributed to all ARBs of Negros Occidental this year.

He had ordered the DAR to closely coordinate with the other agencies to fast track the distribution of the land titles. The DAR targets to distribute 11,772 land titles to 7,848 ARBs in Negros Occidental this year.

The chief executive also distributed P69.17 million worth of assistance, which include organic fertilizer, farm machinery and equipment (FMEs), Tulay ng Pangulo Para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo (TPKP), and Farm-to-Market Roads (FRMs) to 1,830 beneficiaries in Negros Occidental.  

“Sa ating pagtataguyod ng Bagong Pilipinas, layunin natin ang sabay-sabay na pag-unlad kung saan walang sinuman ang maiiwan sa pag-asenso,” the President told the ARBs during the land title distribution at the Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Coliseum and Cultural Center.

“Itong programang pang-agrikultura ng pamahalaan ay nagpapakita lamang ng seryosong pagkilos ng administrasyon upang matulungan kayo na magkaroon ng higit na kakayahan, kasanayan at mga pagkakataon sa pag-unlad,” he added.   

Marcos signed in July last year the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, which benefits more than 610,054 Filipino farmers tilling more than 1.7 million hectares of land agrarian reform lands, making them debt-free from PhP57.65 billion of agrarian arrears.

The president said those who received their land titles before July 24 last year are already debt-free.

“Sa mga tumanggap ng mga e-titles na galing sa collective CLOAs, at sa mga tumanggap ng CLOA sa mga lupang nakarehistro bago mag-abente kuwatro ng Hulyo noong nakaraang taon, malugod kong ipinaalam na wala na po kayong babayaran na amortization,” President Marcos said.  

“Burado na po ang inyong utang sa Land Bank,” he added.

Before concluding his speech, President Marcos extended his gratitude to the ARBs who are the government’s partners in national development and major contributors to food security and the foundation of a “Bagong Pilipinas,” assuring them of continued support to boost their agricultural productivity.

“Sa ating mga agrarian reform beneficiaries, maituturing po kayong mga buhay na bayani ng ating panahon. Kayo ang sandigan namin upang masiguro na sapat ang pagkain sa hapag ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino. Sa ating pagkakaisa, tiyak akong mapapayabong natin hindi lamang ang agrikultura dito sa inyong lugar, kung hindi pati na sa buong ekonomiya ng Pilipinas,” President Marcos said.

“Makaasa kayo na kabalikat ninyo ako at ang buong pamahalaan sa lahat ng inyong pagsisikap. Nawa’y samahan ninyo ako sa pagsasakatuparan ng isang Bagong Pilipinas – isang bansang walang nagugutom at ang lahat ay kumikilos para sa kapakanan ng lahat,” he added.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer, some mayors, and local officials were present in the Bago City activity.*

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