Insisting that his visit was not political in nature, Liberal Party stalwart and former Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo met with Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo Monday to express his disapproval for the proposed Negros One-Island Region.
Accompanied by his friend Ricky Chiu, Remollo, who was also president of the Clark Development Corp. from 2011 to 2012, said the proposed Negros region would only add a layer to the bureaucracy.
“Regional offices only function as coordinating agencies. With today’s technological advances, one can easily get in touch with Malacañang without passing through regional offices,” he said in a telephone interview.
“I have nothing against the current setup which has already been tried and proven. I’ll have this anytime against a one-island region which is uncertain,” Remollo said.
He said what is needed now is to unite regions 6 and 7 through bridges, and form a tourism corridor. He said the two Visayas regions have more to gain by uniting.
If funding can be readily available, it should be used to increase the connectivity of regions by constructing bridges which, Remollo said, is very feasible, like in Korea, where a 25-kilometer bridge was constructed.
To create the tourism corridor, Bacolod City should also be connected to Guimaras and to Iloilo by way of a bridge, and Negros Oriental to Cebu and Siquijor, which is only 18 kilometers, Remollo said.
He said he was happy Degamo and Negrenses are reluctant about the proposal in the absence of clear-cut plans, Remollo added.
Remollo, whose master plan for Dumaguete City was met with mixed reactions from the public and the Sangguniang Panlungsod when he was mayor from 1998-2001, said there is a need for a master plan for the proposed Negros Island Region before it can be presented to the people.
The former mayor, who is acting chairman of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport Corp., is a practicing lawyer and businessman, and legal adviser to the chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
He said putting up another region would require a lot of money that can be better put to use in rehabilitating the areas devastated by super-typhoon Yolanda and the Zamboanga siege.*AP