EditorialSo NIR

So NIR

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The law creating a new administrative region out of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental and Siquijor is nearing reality as both the Senate and the House have endorsed the bill to the President for his approval.

Once signed into law, this creation of the Negros Island Region will be a historical development because the two Negros Provinces, with the addition of Negros Oriental’s former sub-province of Siquijor can now plan to gather for the development of the island. 

Up until the late 1800s, Negros Island was governed from Bacolod City and the administrators had to go around the island on an arduous trek to Dumaguete because of the tall mountain range dividing the island. The mountain also discouraged opportunities for residents of both sides to meet and learn each other’s language. This made the people in the eastern side of the island speak the language of the Cebuanos while the people of the western side were influenced by the Hiligaynon’s. That is why in 1890, two provinces were created and naturally, their political and administrative groupings leaned towards the people who spoke the same language.

Now, with travel across Negros becoming so easy, Ilonggo is not anymore a strange language in Negros Oriental.

Hopefully, the reality of the huge disparity in the development of both provinces will come to an end. Motorists may no longer see upon crossing the provincial boundaries that the Negros Occidental roads are wider and much better than the Negros Oriental roads. Worse, there are roads in one province that do not continue to the next because of the lack of centralized planning.

Sadly, the concept of the NIR is still misunderstood by many. Going by comments from netizens on social media, we still get questions like, “what will happen to our governor?” Clearly, a better information dissemination campaign is in order so that everyone may understand and buy into the concept of a one-island region.

Without the public’s support, we could be NIR and yet be so far.

 

 

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