“One Island, One region” Project, Gov. Alfredo Marañon, Jr.’s Scheme to Expand his Power in Negros Oriental

Frank Fernandez
National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Negros Island
June 18, 2014

“No politics involved. The “One Island, One region” Project is only for the betterment and benefits of the people of Negros Occidental  and Negros Oriental.” This is what Gov. Alfredo Marañon, Jr. brags during the “One Island, One Region” Summit in Kabankalan City last June 6, 2014.

“This is a big lie!” This is how the National Democratic Front  (NDF) – Negros views this “One Island, One Region” project.

Marañon is adept in the art of deception using his sharp tongue, in order to hide his and his allies  true scheme in expanding the economic and political interests.

Together with Gov. Marañon are the former governors Rafael Coscolluela, Daniel “Bitay” Lacson and others who also dreamed of expanding their economic and political interests in Negros Oriental.

This group of comprador bourgeoisie – landlords are aggressive in pushing for the realization of their power expansion, by using this “One Island, One Region” project as their firm reason to realize their dream.

Gov. Marañon and his allies can only benefit a little amount from national allocation for the planned Regional offices in the Island of Negros.

The much bigger reason is that the “One Island, One Region” project will enable this big reactionary classes of Negros Occidental to tap and exploit the resources of the nearby backward towns and  barangays in the boundaries of Occidental and Oriental. They believe they could reap superprofits should they develop the economic and business potentials of the area.

Marañon and his allies and the foreign investors aim to attach Canlaon City and Vallehermoso of Negros Oriental to Sagay City, San Carlos City and Salvador  Benedicto of Negros Occidental for their plan of developing vast areas of upland barangays for agri-business ventures / plantations of oil palm tree, pineapple, rubber tree, banana, coffee and cow and sheep pastureland. Particularly, Marañon aims to develop Canlaon City as the organic vegetable capital of the Philippines for Japanese market. It is adjacent to the rice farms of OISCA of Japan, where Marañon is one of its Board of Directors.

They would also gain more profits should they develop the eco-tourism and resort complex in Northern Negros. 

The vast areas of adjacent towns and barangays of Hinobaan, Ilog, Kabankalan City of Negros Occ. and  the towns of Basay, Bayawan and Mabinay of Negros Oriental seem desirable for the agri-business interests  of the Marañon group.

Copper Development Corp., Goring Mineral Exploration and Eagle Cement Corp. are operating and will operate in the boundaries of the two (2) Provinces, specifically in the towns of Basay and Hinobaan.

In the boundaries of Binalbagan and Himamaylan City, Negros Occ. and Tayasan, Ayungon and Jimalalud, Negros Oriental, the Epithermal Gold Corporation, Essensa Mining Corporation and Philmet Exploration Corporation are also claiming mining rights.

Using the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the  Revolutionary Proletarian Army (RPA), Gov. Marañon implements projects that facilitate the entry of local and foreign investors in partnership with the ruling reactionary classes in Negros.

For sure, the Marañon group in the Occidental can secure more profits should the “One Island, One Region” project materialize. Economically and politically, the ruling class in the Occidental are more powerful than those in the Oriental. Surely, the ruling classes of the Oriental will be  subservient to the caprices and whims of the ruling classes in the Occidental. The ruling classes in the Oriental side led by Gov. Degamo are fully aware of the Marañon interest in this project, thus, they’re having second thoughts in accepting this project.