Undersecretary Austere Panadero of the Interior and Local Government met yesterday with Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. to discuss the settlement sites for Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade members as a final step to the government's signing of a closure agreement with the group.
The national government is in a hurry to see closure, Marañon said.
However, it is important that a proper settlement area is found to ensure the success of the agreement, he said.
The governor stressed the need for the settlement area to have good facilities, access to schools, roads, electricity, and other amenities.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process had identified settlement sites within the Northern Negros Natural Park in San Carlos and Cadiz cities that the provincial government objected to for being in areas that should be protected from encroachment, Provincial Planning and Development Office coordinator Ma. Lina Sanogal said.
That is why a study of alternative sites, which could include private lands to be purchased, has been undertaken, she said.
Unlike remote areas in the NNNP, these alternative sites could be closer to already existing roads, schools and other infrastructure, she said.
The alternative settlement sites are needed for the closure agreement to be signed, she said.