The future of the Negros Islands will be up for discussion during the first of a series of federalism roadshows that is launched today, June 17 in Dumaguete City, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Let us all be informed about the issues surrounding the regions, particularly the Negros Islands, and how federalism will help us surpass our current problems in the unitary system,” says DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya, Administrator of the Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform (CFCR).
Malaya says the Consultative Committee (Concom) tasked to review the 1987 Constitution will discuss with Negrenses its proposed consolidation of the two Negros regions into one as well as issues on agrarian reform, ancestral domain, and youth development.
“We expect the Negrenses to take an active part in the discussions today because we want to hear their voice on this very important issue that is close to their heart,” he says.
On August 7, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte dissolved the Negros Island Region (NIR) due to a lack of funds.
Executive Order (EO) No. 38 revokes EO No. 138 signed by former president Benigno Aquino III which created the NIR, reverting the provinces of Negros Occidental to Western Visayas (Region VI) and Negros Oriental to Central Visayas (Region VII).
Political analysts and federalism advocates Ramon Casiple and Gary Olivar will serve as the resource speakers for the discussions.
Representatives from the Department arrived in Dumaguete yesterday for the roadshow launch.
The Consultative Committee will also conduct its consultations alongside the two-day event.
Officials from both the national and local governments flew in today for the advocacy.
Among those participating in the consultations are DILG Assistant Secretary Marjorie Jalosjos, Negros Oriental Provincial Governor Roel R. Degamo, Constitutional Committee Commissioners Edmund S. Tayao and Arthur Aguilar, Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, Isabela Mayor Joselito Malabor, Negros Occidental District 3 Representative Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, and Region 7 Director Atty. Rene Burdeos.
Meanwhile, multi-sectoral leaders will arrive to back the constitutional reform that the Duterte administration is pushing for, namely: President of the Javellane Masunog Farmers Association Manuelita G. Battung, District Coordinator of the Kilusang Pagbabago Youth Jumelyn S. Guzon, and Chairman of the IP Tribal Chiefs Ernesto Clark.
Attending the rally are DILG Regional Director Rene Burdeos, Governor Roel Degamo, Mayor Antonio Felipe Remollo, and DILG Assistant Secretaries Jaloslos and Malaya.
“Let us all join forces during the rally on June 18 to show that we believe in the president’s advocacy for change,” says Malaya.