BACOLOD CITY—The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) on Monday closed its regional office in the Negros Island Region (NIR), ending the existence of the NIR composed of the provinces of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental.
The Dole was among the last NIR offices to shut down following the region’s dissolution in August.
In rites held here, Exequiel Sarcauga, Dole NIR director, turned over the Dole Negros Occidental office to Johnson Cañete, director for Western Visayas, and its Negros Oriental office to Cyril Tica, director for Central Visayas.
Cañete and Ticao said all Dole personnel in the NIR returned to their mother units in Western Visayas and Central Visayas.
“Today, we bid the NIR as a region goodbye but all is not lost in our efforts to unify the two Negros provinces as one region,” Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said.
The NIR was created on May 29, 2015 through Executive Order No. 183 issued by then President Benigno Aquino III. On Aug. 9 this year, President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 38, dissolving the NIR. The NIR regional offices were given 60 days to shut down.
“As we return to our respective regional groups, this should not stop us to continue our synergy in pursuit of a more progressive, more dynamic Negros Island economy that will redound to better lives,” Marañon said.
“Our sincere thanks as well to the political leaders of both [Negros] Oriental and Occidental, who, despite the initial odds, made the unification of Negrenses happen,” he said.
Negros officials are now pushing for the two provinces be reunited under a single state with the shift toward a federal form of government. —CARLA P. GOMEZ
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