Goodbye Negros Island Region
“This is the end, the very end, my friend “….. Jim Morrison
ANY foolhardy idea, more so if it has an ulterior motive, will ultimately fail.
The Negros Island Region or NIR is the brainchild of losing presidential – and before that vice presidential – candidate Mar “Daang Matuwid” Roxas. In case you’re wondering, Mar “Daang Matuwid” Roxas is his official name in the ballots. NIR is now in the final days of its short but very expensive existence before President Rodrigo Duterte signs the Executive Order abolishing it.
That it was another one of Mar Roxas’ folly does not surprise most people. That it was the epitome of gerrymandering does not also surprise most people. I’m sure that most sensible and politically-aware people know that the ulterior motive of NIR was to unite the hacienderos in Negros to rally and support the presidential bid of Mar Roxas. He dangled it to them like a carrot with promises that if he wins as President a united NIR will be the “apple of his eyes” and, of course, we know what that means.
Unfortunately for him but fortunately for us, Mar Roxas lost his presidential bid despite all the efforts with the PCOS machines (the true bailiwick of the Liberal Party). Again unfortunately for us, the PCOS machines were able to manage a questionable victory for Leni Robredo as vice president.
It’s a good thing that NIR is still in the transition stage and not yet fully implemented; we still have a reprieve to return to status quo. So let’s see what this folly of Mar Roxas is costing the government.
In a news story in Panay News, Benjamin Diokno said,” keeping the NIR is an expensive exercise that would cost the government at least P19 billion…the NIR is not in the budget anymore. It will be repealed.”
Speculations on the dissolution started when the NIR’s proposed budget for 2017 was excluded from the proposed national budget.
According to the Budget secretary, he was confronted with a P19-billion request by various agencies for the new region.
“I said that’s not affordable. We have other priorities,” said Diokno.
There were no allocations for the NIR in the 2016 General Appropriations Act and in the 2017 proposed national budget, he pointed out.
“You don’t want to spend P19 billion for such two-province region.”
So there you go, the government is going to lose at least P19 billion just to keep NIR afloat when there was really no need for it in the first place. As of now the national government agencies making up NIR have no budget. Those that come from Region 6 are still getting their budget from that region and likewise for those from Region 7. So tell me, is there any logic in this?
Regions 6 and 7 were performing their services normally before Mar Roxas suddenly had an epiphany feeling like Moses dividing the Red Sea, only this time he was dividing two regions.
Really, what can you expect from a two-time loser? He lost both his vice presidential and presidential bids and that say a lot about him.
If you remember when he was the secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), when the “Martilyo Gang” struck in one of the malls in Metro Manila using hammers they bought from the hardware store in that mall, he came out with an order to ban the sale of hammers in the mall. A really stupid idea!
Of course, this is the man who wants us all to believe that he is a Wharton graduate when he is not; he is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, not an MBA graduate of Wharton.
So goodbye NIR, enjoy MassKara while you still can!/PN