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Degamo says no to NIR proposal, international airport in Bacong

By: Doris C. Bongcac December 07,2022 - 11:14 AM

Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo

Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo. | File photo

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu –- Officials of the provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental had united to ensure the creation of the Negros Island Region (NIR), Bohol Gov. Aristotle Aumentado, who is also the chairperson of the Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC-7), said.

But this early, Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo already said that he did not want their province to separate from Central Visayas.

Degamo mentioned of language and cultural differences with Negros Occidental as among his reasons for not wanting to support the NIR.

He also talked of several other issues like the need to identify where to put the center of government if the NIR proposal would be passed.

Degamo said that his province was already doing well as part of Central Visayas.

“Maganda naman ang takbo ng ekonomiya, dito kami sa Region 7.  Bakit ako mosugal doon sa NIR? Yun ang mga issues na dapat natin tingnan. Negros Oriental stands with Region 7,” Degamo said during the 4th quarter meeting of the Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC-7) on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

(The flow of our economy is good, we will stay here in Region 7. Why would we bet on NIR? Those are the issues that we should look at. Negros Oriental stands with Region 7.)

Degamo, who recently assumed the Office of the Governor after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) invalidated the victory of former governor Pryde Henry Teves in the May elections, virtually attended the RDC-7 full council meeting.

Bacong International Airport

He first spoke of his opposition against a plan to establish an international airport in the municipality of Bacong, a proposal which he said was not economically wise.

Quoting the outcome of a feasibility study, he said that Tanjay City was the appropriate location for an international airport.  An option is to develop the existing domestic airport in Dumaguete City to make it comply with international standards.

Bacong Mayor Lenin Aviola, who also attended the RDC-7 meeting virtually, replied that Degamo’s comments were already “moot and academic” since the Bacong International Airport project was already submitted to the Office of the President.

The two officials then started to argue.

Degamo went on to say that he was not consulted on the Bacong airport project.

The Negros Oriental Governor also mentioned of his disapproval of the NIR proposal.

To put an end to their exchanges, Aumentado asked Degamo to submit his feasibility study to the RDC-7. The Council will then decide what to do next after they see the document.

RDC-7 officials led by its Chairman and Bohol Governor Aristotle Aumentado (4th from right). | Doris C. Bongcac

Negros Island Region

In an interview after the meeting, Aumentado, who was asked what he thought of the NIR proposal, said that the plan would require the unity of the two provinces before this could be approved.

“Ang makapadayon ana is sila gyud mismo,” he said.

(The ones who could continue that are they themselves.)

Aumentado said it was also still too early for RDC-7 to make a stand on the issue.

“Kinsa man intawn mi nga magapil-apil sa ilang kagustohan kung magunify ba sila or magpabalin nga unsa [sila] karon?” he said.

(Who are we to go against their wishes if they will unify or stay where they are now?)


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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, cebu news, degamo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, RDC-7

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