The revival of Negros Island Region is being hoped under the next administration. (File Photo)
The revival of Negros Island Region is being hoped under the next administration. (File Photo)

Dumaguete Diocese asks PBBM to veto creation of Negros Island Region

THE Diocese of Dumaguete called on President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to veto Senate Bill 2507, creating the Negros Island Region (NIR) due to a "lack of fair, just, and truthful consultation."

The President recently announced he will soon sign the approved bill.

The diocese, headed by Bishop Julito Cortes, released Wednesday, April 10. 2024, a letter addressed to the President sent during Holy Week.

It cited several reasons for their opposition to the creation of the one-island Negros region, which will comprise Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Siquijor.

The Diocese of Dumaguete covers the towns and cities from Basay in the south to Jimalalud in the north, and the entire island province of Siquijor.

In a letter dated March 25 and signed by the bishop and other church officials, the diocese appealed to the President to veto the bill for the NIR creation, citing the lack of information dissemination and the absence of public consultation with diverse sectors and stakeholders.

“As custodians of democracy, it is the people’s inherent right to be fully informed and actively engaged in decisions of such magnitude, for they shape the trajectory of our collective destiny,” the letter read.

It is also the church’s concern to ensure that the voice of the people be heard and duly acknowledged and accorded the justice it deserves, the diocese said.

Other reasons cited for the diocese’s objection to the creation of the NIR are the “disproportionate impact” on less privileged sectors; the threat to exacerbate existing inequalities; and the unequal distribution of resource allocation and representation, noting that Negros Oriental has fewer congressional districts compared to its western neighbor.

Monsignor Julius Heruela, a member of the diocese’s Circle of Discernment, said the letter was released only after the President’s recent announcement that he would sign the bill for the creation of the new region.

The diocese has not received any communication from the Palace regarding this, he added. (PNA)

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