Governor Roel Degamo Saturday disputed the claim that Negros Oriental has remained poor, and stressed that, in fact, its tourism industry is soaring.
He said Negros Oriental ranks second in terms of tourism in Central Visayas and eighth nationwide.
Degamo also disputed statistics presented at the Negros Island Region consultative forum at the Negros Oriental Convention Center in Dumague City Saturday showing that the province has remained poor.
Despite a series of consultations on the proposed one-island Negros region, Degamo Saturday remained firmly rooted in his previous adamant stand that a study by the National Economic and Development Authority must first be completed.
He said the NEDA is undertaking a feasibility study on the implications of the proposed “unification” and he will wait for the results to be out before he can come up with a better stand on the matter.
Degamo reiterated he will “submit to the will of our people”, his catchphrase since the one-island region proposal was revived by Negros Occidental officials, headed by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.
There is a need for a thorough study and scrutiny of the proposed one-island region, Degamo reiterated even as he announced later in radio interviews that he believes the consultation was inclined towards those favoring it.
Majority of the speakers in the forum were in favor of the proposal, he noted.*JFP