BACOLOD City – The chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendment said on Mar. 17, 2017 that the Negros Island Region (NIR) and the possible redistricting of Bacolod City will not be affected by the proposed shift to the federal system of government.
Rep. Roger Mercado (lone district, Southern Leyte) made the statement in a press conference held at the office of Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
Mercado on Friday led a public consultation on constitutional reforms at the Bacolod Government Center.
With him during the press conference hosted by Leonardia are Reps. Alfredo Benitez (3rd district, Neg. Occ.), Mercedes Alvarez (6th district, Neg. Occ.), Gus Tambunting (2nd district, Paranaque), Lawrence Lemuel Fortun (1st district, Agusan del Norte) and Greg Gasataya (lone district, Bacolod).
Mercado said that NIR will remain as one region under the federal system.
He added that he is fully aware that the retention of the NIR is being supported by Negrense solons who are part of the Visayan bloc in Congress.
Mercado said that only regions with revenues may be grouped with other regions to form one federal state.
He also explained that Region 8, for instance, will be clustered with Region 7 as one federal state with Cebu City as the state capital.
He also said that the redistricting of Bacolod City into two districts will not be affected by federalism.
“We are on schedule,” Mercado said as to the move to shift from presidential to federal system of government.
He pointed out that consultations were made throughout the country.
Mercado added that after the SONA of President Rodrigo Duterte in July 2017, both the House of Representatives and the Senate can convene the Constitutional Assembly.