#SaveNIR Trends as Negrenses Protest to Keep Negros Island Region

Hashtag #SaveNIR is making trend on social media sites particularly in Facebook as Negrenses protest to keep Negros Island Region (NIR) following reports that the newly-formed region will be abolished soon.

Negrenses are appealing not to dissolve NIR, with some believing that it would halt the improvement of the region. Some also said that the Negros should remain as a region since it is more populous than other regions in the country.

According to Philippine Statistics Authority, the population of NIR is 4,414,131, while Caraga or Region XIII is 2,596,709 and MIMAROPA or Region IV-B is 2,963,360, as of August 2015.

Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno recently told the reporters in MalacaƱang Palace that President Rodrigo Duterte is set to sign an Executive Order dissolving the NIR.

Diokno said that the funds for NIR would be too costly for the administration since various agencies have confronted him of the 19 billion budget, adding that there were no allocated funds for the region in the proposed 2017 national budget.

NIR is the only region in the country with only two provinces namely Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.

Before NIR was formed, Negros is the only island with two separate regions. Negros Occidental is part of Region VI or Western Visayas, while Negros Oriental is par of Region VII or Central Visayas.

NIR was created on May 9, 2015 through an Executive Order issued by former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino upon the endorsement of former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.

Officials from both provinces have been pushing for the idea of creating one region for the past 20 years.

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