Duterte abolishes Negros Island Region 2 years after Aquino ordered its creation

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order abolishing the Negros Island Region (NIR) created during the term of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

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Executive Order (EO) No. 38, which was signed by the President on August 7, revokes EO 183, which created the NIR.

“The administrative regions were established to promote efficiency in the government, accelerate social development and improve public services,” Duterte said in his order, a copy of which was released on Wednesday.

He said the establishment of regional offices of departments and agencies in the NIR “requires substantial appropriation to be fully operational, thus competing with government priority programs and projects for funding.”

“There is a need to ensure that priority govenrment programs and projects are sufficiently funded,” the President added.

On May 29, 2015, Aquino signed EO 183 that separated Negros Occidental from Region 6 (Western Visayas) and Negros Oriental from Region 7 (Central Visayas).

The creation of one region for Negros was supported by then Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd.

With the creation of NIR, Roxas then said that the national government agencies could focus more on the high level of poverty in the two Negros provinces and hasten public investments they needed to progress because of the creation of the NIR.

Aquino has expressed his concerns  over the growing number of extrajudicial killings spawned by Duterte’s drug war. He even said that after a year in its campaign, “nothing has happened”.

Aquino’s comment incurred Duterte’s ire who warned his predecessor against criticizing him, saying that some of the former president’s close aides have been linked to the illegal drug trade. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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