Negros Island Region ends 2-year run

THE two-year run of Negros Island Region (NIR) officially ended Monday following the shutdown of its regional offices.

October 9, or 60 days after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 38 abolishing the region, was the deadline given by the Chief Executive to the regional directors to complete the transition process.

With the abolition of NIR, the two provinces, along with the NIR regional offices, reverted to its previous regions – Negros Occidental to Western Visayas, or Region 6, and Negros Oriental to Central Visayas, or Region 7.

The special bodies – Regional Development Council, Regional Peace and Order Council, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council – created under the NIR merged with the two regions.

Anthony Nuyda, director of Department of the Interior Local Government (DILG) in Western Visayas, said Monday the regional directors were told to submit their accomplishment and transition reports.

“We asked them to submit the highlights of their accomplishments under NIR as we will come up with a consolidated report,” said Nuyda, who was also the officer-in-charge of defunct DILG-NIR.

He said they are looking to submit the consolidated reports to the DILG central office and the Office of the President on the first week of November.

Nuyda said all the concerns, including the displacement of job order employees and conversion of NIR regional offices to satellite offices, were addressed prior to the winding up of operations.

He said that regional directors were also told to inform the public and the local government units on where to transact following the winding down of their operations.

In NIR’s two-year run, the regional offices have reported notable accomplishments even with limited funding and resources.

Ma. Lina Sanogal, Negros Occidental Provincial Planning and Development coordinator, said: “It was a sad day for all Negrenses, but our Almighty God has poured blessings, in the form of awards and recognitions, for our beloved Negros Occidental, just in time to lift our spirits...maybe, to compensate for our loss.”

She added: “When the door closes, a window opens. So, with our ‘never say die’ spirit, let us wipe our tears, rise, and move on and soar even higher.”

On September 29, the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental honored the directors of NIR regional line agencies at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City.

Duterte’s predecessor, President Benigno Aquino III, signed the EO creating NIR on May 29, 2015.

NIR was created to accelerate social and economic development and to improve the delivery of public services to the two provinces. Its creation also made it easier for both public workers and citizens to access government offices and services as the regional centers were established in the Negros Island, contrary to the previous set-up.

Under NIR, 14 regional offices were housed in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental while 16 others in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

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