LOCAL officials and leaders of the Visayan region or Regions 6, 7 and 8 have formed a bloc that will focus on economic development and not on political issues.
Two convenors -- Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez and Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone -- said Visayan-speaking leaders crossed party lines to unite and organize “one vision, one voice and One Visayas.”
Speaking in Ugnayan sa Batasan media forum, Benitez said political matters like the upcoming mid-term elections are their least priority so far.
Benitez added that the intention of the merging of three regions to prepare the people on federalism.
“We are pushing the concept of federalism. We have no discussion of the political alliance , but more on economic cooperation,” Benitez stressed.
At least 10 out of 16 governors from the three regions attended the convention. Also more than 20 solons, mayors and other local executives were present in the first launching of One Visayas.
So far, Benitez said the purpose of the group is to strengthen the tourism sector of the three Regions, improve the infrastructure with the help of the private sector and promote the different products of every province all for the welfare of the Visayan people.
The group is supporting the first major infrastructure project of the administration to the Visayas region which is land bridge connecting Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros Occidental.