The Negros Island Region was in deed an impossible dream that started to come true for a moment, but in a little while, at the stroke of the Presidential pen, it was gone and reverted to where it was before.
But no, it was real, as real as the politics behind it. Noynoy created the NIR via an executive order and his successor simply issued another executive order (EO) to abolish it. Many do not call it Filipino political vendetta plain and simple.
NIR was authored by Mar Roxas, being a Negrense, he won in the two Negros islands, and Duterte who lost in NIR — simply abolished it.
In short, the bottom line is NIR existence was essential but not necessary. The nation can do without it. But it will be resurrected once Duterte’s Federal system operates with Negros as one possible federal state if our politicians are wise and clever enough. But we doubt if Cebuanos and Ilonggos will finally mix in the distant future. Mountainous language barriers separate us from each other.
But the P1.4 Billion infra budget of DPWH for Negros Oriental’s 3 engineering (congressional) districts remain intact and are now bidded and appropriated and soon will be implemented at P400M per district, even bigger.
Why? Because P1.4B infra from DPWH for Negros Oriental will always be here with or without NIR. No cash is yet released but most of its projects have been bidded and awarded. But know this: it has not yet started because of the usual bureaucratic delays. We hope the delays will not reach Dec 31 before unused funds will be reverted to the national treasury.
Bottomline, Negros Island didn’t lose anything with NIR’s demise. All 2017 Negros infrastructure projects are intact, it will be under Region 6 Western Visayas for Negros Occidental and Region 7 Central Visayas for Negros Oriental.
So what’s new is, we’re back where we started, and life goes on.