Senate approves Negros Island Region re-establishment

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY – The Senate has passed the bill for the re-establishment of the Negros Island Region (NIR) on its third and final reading on Tuesday.

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri shared the development on his official Facebook page, expressing his joy and fulfillment of a campaign promise.

“The Negros Island Region Act has passed in the Senate! I am happy to share that we have fulfilled this promise, as my father hails from Kabankalan, and I understand how long my fellow Negrenses have awaited this moment,” Zubiri said.

Senate Bill No. 2507, also known as the Negros Island Region Act, was co-sponsored by Zubiri, with Senator JV Ejercito serving as the principal author.

Zubiri believes that re-establishing the NIR will bring government services closer to the citizens, simplifying what is currently a complicated administrative arrangement for Negros Island.

As detailed in the legislation, the NIR will comprise the provinces of Negros Occidental (including Bacolod City), Negros Oriental, and Siquijor, along with their respective cities, municipalities, and barangays.

The present setup requires residents of Negros Occidental to journey to Iloilo for official documents such as identification cards, certificates, and permits, while those from Negros Oriental must travel to Cebu for similar needs.

The bill received unanimous support in the House of Representatives last March, with a sweeping 290 affirmative votes.