Lone district Representative Greg Gasataya and his family during his oath-taking at the Bacolod Government Center Friday, July 1. (TDE Photo)
Gasataya at the sidelines of the oath-taking of Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said that they made the agreement during a meeting before the end of the last Congress.
All of the congressmen agreed to be authors of the bill seeking the creation of the NIR,he said.
Gasataya added that the proposed NIR will now include the island province of Siquijor aside from Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.
Negros Occidental Third District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez said the Visayan Bloc will convene for the 19th Congress with some new members as others have already finished their terms.
He said that he is gathering all signatures for the filing of the bill Monday or Tuesday.
A total of 12 congressmen from Negros island and Siquijor are jointly filing the bill seeking the re-establishment of the NIR.
Earlier, Benitez said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., may issue an executive order reestablishing the NIR ahead of the passage of the bill creating it.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri has committed to file a counterpart bill in the Senate.
The revival of the NIR also gets a much- needed boost after Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI) also expressed support for the proposed passage of a law for reviving it.
Edward Du, former NOCCI president said that the law would ensure that the region could not be easily abolished.
“We are hopeful that this will come to fruition this time, considering that the first attempt was not given a chance to fully take off due to budgetary constraints,” he said.
The NIR was established on May 29, 2015, through Executive Order 183 signed by then President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
Former President Rodrigo Duterte abolished the new region on August 7, 2017, noting the need for sufficient funding for priority government programs and projects. (TDE)