Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo said yesterday that he will create a council to reach out to the barangays, cities and towns to get the pulse of the people on the proposed one-Negros Island region.

 This was after a report from a regional paper said that his opposition could delay the take-off of the proposed one-island region, that was first introduced about 20 years ago and revived recently with Negros Occidental officials in the lead.

The report said Degamo’s opposition was politically motivated, but he denied this, saying he was just quoting an initial radio survey that showed majority of those who participated in it were against the one-island region.

He added that his stand on the proposal is not final, and whether he will oppose or agree with it will be determined by the people’s vote.

But getting the pulse of the people will need a big budget and the help of the media, to make them understand what the one-island concept is all about, Degamo said.

“On my side, I did not say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but I want to see a feasibility study,” he added.

He said he wants to see convincing data first that shows the bid will uplift the lives of Negrenses, otherwise, he will not take the risk of supporting the one-island region.

He reiterated he is happy with Negros Oriental being part of Region 7.

As to the holding of a region summit in Negros Oriental, Degamo said it will definitely push through, but no date has yet been set as he is still coordinating the availability of Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government.*JFP