From the Visayan Daily Star (May 5): Peace and dev't community sites, new DENR-NIR chief's priorities
Newly-appointed OIC- Negros Island Regional Director Livino Duran of the Department of Natural Resources said he will makethe development of Peace and Development Community Sites in the region one of his priority programs to highlight the agency's commitment to rebel returnees in Negros.
In an interview with the DAILY STARyesterday, Duransaid he will re-strengthen these peace and development areas through the Payapa and MasaganangPamayanan (PAMANA) program of DENR to create settlement and production areas for the RebolusyonaryongPartidongManggagawaPilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPM-RPA-ABB).
“This is a commitment of the agency, and I want to look into updates and developments about this program and take necessary actions to improve it,” Duran said, adding that the project was not updated since he was transferred in Western Visayas in 2009.
Yesterday,he said that he ordered the rehiring of the members of the organization as forest guards, specifically in the forest cover areas of the cities of Kabankalan, Cadiz and San Carlos and an area in Negros Oriental.
PAMANA is a government peace and development program and framework aiming to reduce poverty, improve governance and empower communities through community-driven projects that address people's needs while promoting peace.
“If this is fully implemented, it will affect positively other DENR programs here in the region,” Duran said, adding that it is a way of peace?building through pushing partnership on environmental advocacies with the people's organizations.
Aside from the Peace and Development Community Sites, he will also continue the programs emphasized by former secretary Gina Lopez on Sustainable Integrated Area Development that include the green economy model and WOW program, which,he pointed out, are the programs with the best practices in the agency.
At the local level, Duran said he will pursue the enhanced National Greening Program and the rehabilitation and protection of the Northern Negros Natural Park and Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park in Negros Oriental.
“These programs are in line with the commitment of the country to the United Nations to mitigate climate change to increase the forest cover,” Duran said adding, “and further sustain biodiversity to boost the ecotourism in NIR.”
In his comment to the realization of the Negros Island Region, he said that NIR has already proved its strategic importance and they will continue to implement environmental programs even if the region will bedissolved or not after the decision.
“The expectations of the people and the administration are high, and we should keep up through having more responsible services,” Duran also said.