Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo yesterday said he is not totally convinced with the proposal for the creation of a one-island region for Negros.
He cited several reasons why he is not yet totally sold out on the idea, even as talks for the one-island region resumed recently, with another summit scheduled Friday in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
Degamo said it is not for him or his administration to decide on the proposed Negros Island region, it must have the people’s consent.
Proper consultation with the Negros Oriental constituents as well as its political leaders must be made before any commitment from the provincial government, he added.
Degamo said three mayors of Negros Oriental, whose names he did not disclose, have already shunned the idea. Nevertheless, he said he is open to listening to suggestions on how the one-island region should be carried out.
Degamo noted a few points that must be seriously considered, such as the language barrier, travel inconvenience, and even the site of the regional government, if plans push through.
Negros Oriental speaks the Cebuano dialect, while Negros Occidental constituents are mostly Ilonggo-speaking, he said.
In terms of travel, it is easier for Oriental Negrenses to go to Cebu City where the regional government offices are located, Degamo said.
Also, it would entail huge government spending to put up regional government offices at a site that would be strategic for both Negros provinces.
Degamo is not attending the summit Friday due to prior appointments but will send Board Members Liland Estacion and Arnulfo Teves Jr. as representatives.
He said that, perhaps, Negros Oriental will also host a similar summit so the people will be more informed of the proposal.*JFP