Bacolod City – If Negros Island Region will be created through an executive order ahead for its passage through legislation, Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said he expects its budget will be included in the 2023 General Appropriations Act.
Diaz said that an Executive Order (EO) creating NIR has been issued before, so its blue print is there.
“I think we just have to revive it and use the same formula. It will not take pain, because it has already been done,” Diaz added.
Bacolod City Mayor-elect Alfredo Benitez and sibling Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez (3rd district, Negros Occ) disclosed earlier that the issuance of an executive order creating NIR before its passage into a law, is now being worked out by the Executive Department.
Mayor-elect Benitez disclosed that both Interior and Local Government Secretary Ben Hur Abalos and President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. are supportive of the NIR creation.
According to Mayor Albee, who knows personally the incoming Philippine president, Diaz said the EO for NIR creation is about to be signed by President-Elect Marcos Jr.
With this development, Diaz said he expects that NIR will have also budget allocation in the 2023 GAA.
On July 1, Rep. Benitez said that all 11 Negros solons, including seven from Negros Occidental, as well as Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Stephen Joseph Paduano, three solons in Negros Oriental and Siquijor Rep. Zaldy Villa will jointly file a bill creating NIR.
I think it will really gain fast action inside the House of Representatives, Diaz said.
He added that it is a very strategic move to have an EO first, in order that NIR budget will be included in the 2023 GAA.
The NIR, which was created through an executive order by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2015, was dissolved by President Rodrigo Duterte after assuming office in 2016. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)