Apr. 27, 2017: DENR chief backs Negros Island Region retention
SIPALAY CITY — Another Cabinet official has expressed support for the retention of the Negros Island Region (NIR). Secretary Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), who was here Tuesday, April 25, said she “does not believe in separating things politically,” adding that politics is “making an artificial subdivision.”
Lopez told SunStar Bacolod that she believes the two provinces under the region “should be together,” though she admitted she isn’t privy on the issues hounding NIR.
“I believe in geophysical. If we share the same river, the same mountain, then we should work together and build an economic zone,” she said.
She added: “I believe in area development. I think for area development purposes and for the betterment of the people, it is better that you should put it together. It’s one ecosystem.”
Other Cabinet officials who supported the bid to retain the young region are Interior Secretary Catalino Cuy, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Guiling Mamondiong, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, and Education Secretary Leonor Briones.
President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to decide on the fate of NIR as local leaders lobby for its retention.