TWG formed for ‘One Negros’ creation

BACOLOD CITY — The House Committee on Local Government on Wednesday said that it has formed a technical working group that will consolidate the bills seeking the creation of the Negros Island Region.

This comes after the body conducted initial deliberations on the three proposed legislations.

“The TWG was created to consolidate similar bills and address questions,” said Negros Occidental Third District Representative Jose Franciso Benitez, who mainly authored House Bill 1446, said.

Negros Occidental Sixth District Representative Mercedes Alvarez and Cebu City South District Representative Eduardo Rama Jr. have been tasked to head the TWG that will tackle issues on the inclusion of Siquijor, which is included in HB 1446 only, and the mode of determining the location of the regional offices.

Aside from Benitez, whose bill is titled “An Act Creating Region 6-B and For Other Purposes”, two other lawmakers from Negros Occidental, Second District Representative Alfredo Marañon III and Fourth District Representative Juliet Marie Ferrer, have also filed bills for the creation of the NIR.

Basilan drug traders fall

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Police disclosed that two alleged illegal drug traders were killed in a shootout at sea with joint police and military authorities in Basilan province.

Basilan Police director Colonel Pedro Martirez Jr. identified the slain suspects as Macsud Cuevas, a resident of Barangay Bohelebong, Tipo Tipo and Dasman Kilala, a resident of Bubuan Island, Tabuan Lasa.

Martirez said the two were killed in a shootout at sea around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday off Barangay Semut, Akbar, Basilan province.

The shootout ensued when Cuevas allegedly pulled out a .45-caliber pistol and opened fire upon sensing they were transacting illegal drugs with undercover policemen. However, Martirez said the troops returned fire and chased the fleeing suspects, fatally hitting Cuevas. Kilala, the boat operator, was also hit during the shootout.

Eastern Visayas logs 91% enrollment

TACLOBAN CITY — At least 1.91 million learners have already signed up for the new school year or 91.53 percent of the 1.3 million registered in the past academic year in Eastern Visayas.

“So far, there has been no discussion to extend the enrollment, but we cannot stop anyone from coming to school after 22 August. In the past two days, there are still late enrollees,” said Department of Education-8 information officer Jazmin Calzita.

The education department earlier set the first day of classes as the deadline for this school year’s enrollment.

The region’s 4,473 schools have the option of in-person classes, blended learning modality, and total distance learning until 31 October this year and on 2 November, all public and private schools will have to transition to five days of face-to-face classes.

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