Marcos signs into law Negros Island Region Act

MANILA. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed on Thursday, June 13, 2024, a measure for the establishment of the Negros Island Region.
MANILA. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed on Thursday, June 13, 2024, a measure for the establishment of the Negros Island Region.RTVM

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. signed on Thursday, June 13, 2024, a measure for the establishment of the Negros Island Region.

Marcos signed into law Republic Act 12000 or the Negros Island Region (NIR) Act, which aims to unify the provinces of Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, in a bid to promote administration decentralization, strengthen local autonomy, and accelerate economic, cultural and social development.

It will bring the total number of regions in the country to 18.

“This union is long overdue and makes very practical sense, especially in the Negros Island, where people are located on one island but are governed under separate administrative regions,” Marcos said.

“So, for decades now, Negrenses have endured the rigors of sea travel, unnecessary expenses, bureaucratic red tape, [and] inefficiency that this arrangement has brought, especially when there is a need to urgently access government services from regional centers on other islands,” he added.

While they share many of the same natural resources and industries such as sugar, tourism and renewable energy, Marcos noted the glaring uneven growth and disparity of funding between the two provinces.

The law will trigger the creation of a technical working group for the formulation of a roadmap that will facilitate all institutional arrangements for the Negros Island Region.

It will also be in charge of the arrangement of the organizational development requirements as well as other necessary concerns for development planning.

The chief executive extended his gratitude to the legislators for passing the law, as he emphasized that the new Negros Island Region “will be a bulwark of greater growth as well as a conduit for more effective and efficient delivery of essential services in the region.”

“We envision as well the NIR as one of the centers of development in the Visayas, further accelerating socio-economic development for the millions of Negrenses and providing strategic convergence regarding resources, investments, and economic planning,” he said.

“Indeed, in unity, there is always strength. And that is what we are building, and I trust that the people of the newly established Negros Island Region will work together to complement each other’s strengths to build a more united and flourishing Negrense community,” he added.

Marcos also signed RA 12001 or the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act (RPVARA), which is among the administration’s priority legislations and is included in the Common Legislative Agenda aligned with the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda.

The said law adopts the prevailing market value as the single real property valuation base for the assessment of real property tax and complements with the government’s efforts to modernize services in the local government units through the Real Property Information System.

“So, this new law is borne out of the necessity and the realization that there is a need to enhance the country’s tax collection system so we can generate revenues, generate jobs, [and] investments all over the country. No longer will we rely on the outdated valuation system,” Marcos said.

“We now have instead the new and improved RPVARA. A law that streamlines and enhances the real property valuation and assessment system through a uniform real property appraisal that is compliant with international standards,” he added.

Marcos said the two new laws are expected to significantly contribute to the collective efforts in driving the country forward under a “Bagong Pilipinas.” (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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