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Within the times of relative peace when there is hardly any emergency, there is always more than enough time to discuss and debate about why we should have (or should not have) a Negros Island Region.

Over the past month when I made some blog posts about the preservation of the newly formed Negros Island Region, I have also heard the side of those who are against pursuing the Negros Island Region idea.  I respect their views and understand where they are coming from.  Some of them are even my relatives.  Nevertheless, from where I stand, the practicality of having a single island region far outweighs the points which go against it.

One of the most pragmatic points in maintaining the Negros Island Region is for Environmental Management and Disaster Response.

In the area of disaster response, take the case of the 2012 Magnitude 7.2 earthquake which hit Bohol.  The tremor had a deep effect on Dumaguete on the Oriental Side of Negros and even shook Hinigaran on the Occidental side with the magnitude of 6.

Following the quake, Region 7 would have been focusing its efforts for relief in Bohol and hardly across the Tañon strait over to Dumaguete.

In a briefer prepared by the NIR Technical Working Group, the document mentioned disaster related incidents in the oriental side wherein, Negros Occidental rescue teams were the first in the area to respond instead of those from Cebu where they used to belong. Of course, when major typhoon strikes, how can those from across the island cross to quickly respond to the situation? It's as simple as that.



 

 

Within our midst too is Mt. Kanlaon which is under careful monitoring for a major volcanic eruption. Kanlaon spans across the two provinces and having a consolidated disaster plan in place will better prepare us for that eventuality.

We are fortunate that within the Cabinet, our appeal for the preservation of the Negros Island Region is being supported by four strong cabinet secretaries and from what we have heard, President Duterte is said to listen to the wisdom of the two strong women secretaries – DSWD's Judy Taguiwalo and Education Sec. Leonor Briones who both hail from this region.

The case of being prepared for disaster is more relevant to Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, whom we have seen being on ground in terms of getting the job done in the recent typhoon which pummeled the middle north of Luzon.

There are too many reasons to retain the NIR. And without even going through everything listed down by the Technical Working Group, this point alone of management after a disaster tells us, it is more practical to direct a relief operation from within the island instead of from Region 6 based in Iloilo across the Guimaras Strait, or from Region 7 based in Cebu across the Tañon Strait.







Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.




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President Rodrigo Duterte has always claimed that he is pro-poor, and so it follows that the simplest argument for all of us who believe that the newly created Negros Island Region (NIR-18) should be preserved is that the budget will be for the development of two provinces that have poverty rates of 32.2 percent ......Read More








 
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