Bill creating Negros Island Region gets House approval 

THE HOUSE of Representatives has approved on 3rd and final reading a bill that will create a new region covering Negros Island in central Philippines.  

The plenary on Monday unanimously voted in approval of House Bill No. 7355, with 290 representatives saying yes.  

Under the proposed measure, the Negros Island Region will be composed of the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, including Bacolod City, and neighboring Siquijor Island.  

Negros Oriental and Siquijor are currently under the Central Visayas Region while Negros Occidental, which geographically covers Bacolod, is part of Western Visayas.   

Frank A. Carbon, chief executive officer of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in a phone call that being part of the Western Visayas Region, which mainly covers Panay Island, does not give the city enough attention in terms of investment priorities needed for economic recovery and faster growth.   

This is our playground. We know best here. Its the politician who will just support us, providing us with an environment conducive to business, meaning they should provide us the necessary utilities: flood control, water, power, road network, connectivity, telecom, airport, seaport. Then we can do business, he added.   

A Negros Island Region, without Siquijor, was established through an executive order in 2015 signed by the late President Benigno S.C. Aquino III. It was abolished by his successor, former President Rodrigo R. Duterte, citing the costs required to set up and maintain new regional offices for national agencies. Beatriz Marie D. Cruz