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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Zubiri welcomes landmark signing of Negros Island Region bill

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The merger of Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Siquijor into one administrative region will bring in unprecedented growth and development to these provinces, noted Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Zubiri, who identifies as Negrense because of his ancestry, authored and co-sponsored Senate Bill No. 2507 or the Negros Island Region (NIR) Act. He said the NIR will usher in a “Golden Age” for the new region, bringing government services closer to the people.  

“We will also be able to attract more investors to come to the region, since the merging into one administrative region is set to improve our ease of doing business. More investments, more jobs, more growth,” Zubiri said in a statement released Thursday morning prior to the bill’s signing.

The NIR Act is one of the priority measures of President Marcos, who is scheduled to sign the landmark law in a ceremony in Malacañang.

“We have long wanted to have our own region, with our own government offices readily accessible to our people,” said Zubiri whose paternal family hails from Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.

Prior to the signing of the NIR Act, Negros Occidental was part of Western Visayas while Negros Oriental and Siquijor were under the governance of Central Visayas.

This administrative set-up has long been considered costly and inconvenient by residents of the three provinces, who have had to travel to Iloilo and Cebu in order to transact with their respective regional government offices.

Zubiri thanked President Marcos for signing the NIR Act into law. He also credited Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, who championed it with him in the Senate. “And, of course, our NIR representatives and officials, who worked closely with us in crafting and defending this law.”  

“This is going to bring in a wave of development into the province, and mark the start of new golden age for Negros,” Zubiri said, noting that the NIR legislation was one of the important measures he helped steer in the bicameral conference committee before he stepped down as Senate President.

“It makes me proud to have my signature on that law,” Zubiri said.

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