The Negros Island Region (NIR) began through the Executive Order (EO) 183, signed by President Benigno Aquino III last May 29. The Executive Order 183 isolated Negros Occidental from Region VI (Western Visayas) while Negros Oriental from Region VII (Central Visayas) to form a new region called “Negros Island Region (NIR)”.
According to Ma Lina Sanogal, Negros Occidental planning and Development officer, the budget proposal of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental will remain with the regions they recently belong to. Ma Lina Sanogal also mentioned that this is due to lack time to go over the budget again with all the agencies that the two provinces will still be included in their previews regions.
The 2016 General Appropriations Act did not include the NIR due to the “late” signing of the Executive Order. It is expected that the draft budget will be signed next month at the Technical Working Group meeting. The line agencies can later on submit a budget proposal that includes next year’s additional budget, noted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“It is not a problem if there is no budget for the NIR next year,” Negros Oriental vice Governor Edward Mark Macias said.
“At first, we were pushing to include Negros Island Region in the budget through amendment but we did not make it,” the vice governor continued “Anyway, it is only the first year. There is still next year. By then, we can have the budget already”.
Negros Oriental vice Governor also mentioned that this 2016 will be the first year of full operation of the new Negros Island Region.