Duterte Dissolves Negros Island Region

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) —The Negros Island Region (NIR) in the Philippines was abolished Aug. 9.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 38 again separating the country’s fourth largest island.

Negros Occidental is now back to the jurisdiction of Region 6 and Negros Oriental to Region 7.

The island was unified into one region in 2015 under former President Benigno Aquino III in a bid to fast-track social and economic development, and improve efficiency of government services.

But the current administration thinks there’s lack of funds to fully implement it.

In October 2016, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno hinted that the government may have to abolish NIR because the government could not afford the P19 billion to establish the region.

Negros local leaders appealed to Duterte last year for unification to “reinforce cultural identify which has long been divided.”