Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito supports the proposed One Negros Island Region, unifying the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.

Negros Occidental is part of Region 6 or Western Visayas, while Negros Oriental belongs to Region 7 or Central Visayas.

“The reason behind it is logical,” Ejercito told Panay News, adding, “It will be easier, kasi ang nangyayari ngayon, most of the regional offices are in Iloilo and if there are things that need attention people from Negros would need to travel to Iloilo pa by ferry, so that becomes impractical.”

The proposal, which was initially met with disapproval by Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, the Negrense senator said, needs proper evaluation.

“It’s valid, but it’s should be further studied as to how they will do it and how the division would be. But, I think for the convenience of everybody, it’s a reasonable proposal to have a separate region for Negros provinces,” he added.

Ejercito’s mother, Guia Gomez, mayor of San Juan City, was born to a Silaynon father and an Ilongga mother.

Last month during his visit to Bacolod City for the inauguration of the First Negros Cyber Center, President Benigno Aquino III said he will sign the executive order (EO) creating the One Negros Region once the draft of the proposed implementing rules and regulations is completed.

Ito ang katwiran ng pagsuporta natin sa Negros Island Region, para mapabilis ang ugnayan at kaunlaran sa inyong mga lalawigan… ‘Di ho ba parang may logic talaga iyon. Isang isla kayo, pero dalawang regionang kinabibilangan. Divided by six at divided by four. Ganyan ‘ata napupunta dati, ‘di ba? Kaya kung magkasama kayo, divided by two. Parang mas madali yata ‘yung divided by two,” said Aquino in his speech.

The President also said he is inclined to issue the EO in “weeks.”/PN