PIA News Service - Sunday, April 22, 2012

New Infantry chief formally installed

By Alex Cabardo

AGUSAN DEL SUR, April 22 (PIA) -- Lt. Col. Nhel Richard Patricio formally handed over to Lt. Col. Jose Leonard Gille the banner of the 26th Infantry Battalion (26th IB) as gesture that he is relinquishing his post and giving the responsibility to the new commander during the turn over ceremony on April 18, 2012.

In his message, Col. Patricio recounted the highlights of accomplishments of the soldiers under the 26th IB within their area of responsibility and their partnership with the local government units and residents of the area in the discharge of their functions.

“We have exerted our efforts and skills in a very diplomatic and civil approach in the discharge of our duties and responsibilities in order to gain peace and development in a very peaceful way. With the help of the local government units and the local residents, we have maintained peace in our area of responsibility while neutralizing the existence of the insurgents, while sending messages that they are welcome to go back to the folds of the law,” Col. Patricio said.

During the turn over ceremony, guest of honor Major General Victor Felix, Commanding General of the 4th Infantry Division also handed over to Cl. Patricio the Interim Award including the Plaque of Merit because of his high performance while serving his responsibilities as the commanding officer of the 26th IB for 26 months in his area of responsibility.

Gen. Felix also made it clear that the turn over of command is one of the tradition of the army while giving honors to the leader who is relinquishing his post for the better.

Col. Gille who is replacing Col. Patricio said it is a great challenge and honor for him to lead more or less 500 soldiers under the 26th IB and to utilize the resources to the best that they can be used. Col. Gille also said he feels he is capable and comfortable to lead the 26th IB because of his experience as an army officer.

The 26th IB covers the municipalities of Prosperidad, Talacogon, La Paz, Loreto, San Luis, Esperanza, Sibagat and the city of Bayugan in Agusan del Sur, including some areas in Agusan del Norte including Butuan City. (RER/AC/DMS/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

DILG chief backs Institute of Environmental Governance

By Florian Faith P. Bayawa Jr.

BUTUAN CITY, April 22 (PIA) -- OIC-Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) - Caraga gives her support to the establishment of the Institute of Environmental Governance at the Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU), the premier university here and in Caraga Region.

In her message during the launching held at the FSUU college main building, Dir. Famacion welcomed the new partner of the department in capacitating local government officials in carrying out environmental laws and directives.

Dir. Famacion added that the DILG as an enabler for service-providers like FSUU believes the partnership and teamwork of stakeholders, including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) like Tanggol Kalikasan, will set the paradigm of a holistic approach in addressing environmental concerns in the region.

“The establishment of the Institute of Environmental Governance (IEG) will supplement our capacity development (CapDev) programs in areas where we don’t have mastery like the adjudication of environmental laws and its remedies, such as the Writ of Kalikasan and the Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP),” Famacion said.

The DILG chief of the region also shared the region’s current status on the implementation of environmental interventions together with partners, donors and other stakeholders. She vowed to highly recommend to the Local Government Academy (LGA), which is the training arm of the department, that future CapDev activities will be tied up with IEG.

The ultimate goal of the IEG is to effect sustainable development and capacitate local government officials in the execution of environmental laws. This is a strategic response to the ever-increasing demand for capacity building of local government units (LGUs).

The Institute will cater to three levels: Level one shall be designed to serve the needs of barangay officials; Level two will cater to the needs of municipal, city, and provincial officials; while Level three will cater to judges, prosecutors, and selected national government agencies. At present, FSUU will host IEG Level one that will provide training and other capability building programs for barangay officials in Butuan City and nearby provinces. (RER/FFPBJr./DILG-Caraga)