TACLOBAN CITY – In a bid to address poverty and insurgency concerns, some officials in Samar Island support the call for the creation of a Samar Island Region (SIR).

Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ongchuan fully supports the call for the creation of SIR.

“It is a good proposal of the prelates. Hopefully, it will push through,” citing that although they expect resistance from other regions, they hope that a law will be passed for its realization.

During the recent Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (Sippad) meeting, Bishop Crispin Varquez of the Diocese of Borongan, Bishop Isabelo Abarquez of the Diocese of Calbayog, and Bishop Emmanuel Trance of the Diocese of Catarman called for the separation of Samar Island from Leyte, Biliran, and Southern Leyte.

Borongan City, Eastern Samar Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda likewise agreed with the proposal citing the difference between Samar and Leyte.

“Samar is the third largest island in the Philippines, yet as far as development is concerned, we are very far behind among the islands in the entire country,” he lamented.

“I hope that the proposal will move forward, be discussed, and looked into for the concentration of economic development in Samar,” he added.

He believes that the move will spur economic development and inclusive growth for the people in Samar.Earlier, Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone also expressed his support to prioritize the third largest island in the Philippines in terms of economic development. By Marie Tonette Marticio (EV Mail June 26-July 2, 2023 issue)