NIR dissolution displaces workers

NEGROS ORIENTAL – The abrupt demise of the youngest region of the country, the former Region 18 or Negros Island Region, has left hundreds of “orphans” or government workers who were rendered without mother units and their jobs.

Effective October 7, all regional offices created including the items in personnel shall have ceased to operate and must either go jobless or return to their parent units in Region 7 or Central Visayas or Region 7 Western Visayas.

However, hundreds of those hired under the new items as particularly the Job Orders or under contracts in the soon-to-be dissolved regional offices will have nowhere to go. It was learned that upon the creation of regional offices, many of those serving in Region 7 and Region 6 were lured to apply in the new positions with the promise of promotion or higher pay. Both Regions 7 and 6 already filled up the vacated positions with another set of appointees upon the departure of the original office holders to transfer to NIR.

This situation were true in the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Department of Budget Management and other agencies. But many of those hitherto regional offices will try to absorb many of the workers in Central and Western Visayas. Under NIR 14 regional offices were in Bacolod City and 16 other offices of national agencies were based in Dumaguete City.

Nevertheless, others were more prudent like in the Department of Education when Schools Division Superintendent Gilbert Sadsad of Negros Occidental and Schools Division Superintendent Salustiano Jimenez and many other administration officials did not vacate their original and permanent posts as they chose to serve the NIR as Regional Director and Assistant Regional Director in concurrent capacity.

A glimmer of hope for many of those displaced workers is based on the promise that Region 7 and Region 6 will prioritize them in the next round of hiring and promotion even if they will have to momentarily occupy lower positions.

President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to dissolve NIR that was derided by many of his supporters as a mere creation of his nemesis former Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government to consolidate the votes of Negros Island in his favor.

NIR was created on May 29, 2015 through Executive Order 183 of President Benigno Aquino III, who has chosen Roxas to be his successor. Last month President Duterte dissolved NIR through Executive Order 38.