Provincial Administrator (PA) Alfonso “Ae” Damalerio II has two more challenging tasks that require his competence as a sustainable peace program innovator and development overseer.
Damalerio will present the “SAFE Bohol: Boholano Bayanihan” initiative in forums or gatherings initiated by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in various parts of the country.
The SAFE — Security Always For Everyone — was launched by the province in Inabanga on Wednesday during the first-year marking of Boholano resilience and heroism against terrorism.
No less than DILG Sec. Eduardo Año joined Gov. Edgar Chatto, Inabanga Mayor Josephine Socorro Jumamoy and other Bohol officials, including military and police, in signing the Safe Bohol Covenant.
It was in barangay Napo in Inabanga where the Abu Sayyaf group made entry to Bohol in their otherwise failed attempt to sow terror in this peaceful part of the country on April 11, 2017.
During his meeting with the governor and mayors, the DILG secretary announced he will “tap Damalerio as resource speaker to present the SAFE Bohol initiative in different forums in the country.”
In another job, Damalerio will head the province’s Review and Development Committee (REDCOM) for Panglao island.
Chatto created, through an executive order, the REDCOM “to ensure that all development projects on Panglao island are in accordance with the provisions of the development guidelines.”
To recall, Malacañang, by virtue of an executive order, created in 1996 an inter-agency task force for Panglao Island Tourism Estate (PITE) which then approved the development guidelines.
In her letter, Department of Tourism (DOT) Sec. Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo told the governor she “espouses a similar stand in pursuing the necessary policy actions to address the issues and concerns in Panglao.”
The SAFE is a provincial government-initiated program “to reinforce our collaborative effort and community vigilance for the advancement of peace and development, to ensure a safe Bohol,” Chatto said.
The governor said it is an enhanced advocacy inspired by the “gallantry and heroism of our soldiers, law enforcers” and “volunteerism of our civilian authorities and civil society” during the terrorist entry.
Año, a former chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), cited these values which to him give substance and deeper meaning to the SAFE Bohol.
“We don’t play with people’s lives. We save lives, that is why the SAFE Bohol is a wonderful project, giving priority to lives,” the secretary said.
Año said wherever Bohol is heard, about its “resiliency, heroism innovations, initiatives,” all responses are “positive.”
Asking Damalerio to come to his front during his dialogue with the Bohol officials, the highest DILG official reiterated his “invitation” to the provincial administrator to present the SAFE Bohol to the country.
Maj. Gen. Jon Aying of the 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army cited the successes of the mechanisms that Bohol has in its Joint Task Force Dagon, Telephone and Radio System Integrated Emergency Response (TaRSIER 117) and Purok Power Movement (PPM).
All these innovations are now major mechanisms of the SAFE Bohol.
Himself in Bohol action during the terrorist attempt, Aying said the challenge is to strengthen engagement and cooperation since the threat did not stop with the end of the Abu Sayyaf incident.
The launching of the SAFE Bohol is “a new advancement and the right direction to peace and development” as it also follows the national agenda for peace and development, the army commander said.
Aying said Bohol’s Joint Task Force Dagon alone is a model replicated in other Visayas provinces, citing the Task Force Leon Kilat in Negros Oriental, Task Force Sugbo in Cebu and Task Force Habak in Siquijor, among others.
TOUGH PANGLAO JOB
While gladly accepting the DILG secretary’s request, Damalerio considered to be indeed tough his other task by the governor to oversee Panglao island development.
Año himself asked the Boholanos not to allow Panglao destruction as he mentioned Boracay’s grave environmental and other concerns.
“Consistency with and conformity to the development guidelines are very critical as we know well the prevailing condition in Panglao,” the provincial administrator said.
The REDCOM specifically exercises the following:
- Review/assess development plans and projects vis-à-vis the development guidelines for Panglao island, as well as proposed environmental rules and regulations for implementation;
- Review proposed ordinances and resolutions on local development plans, even the permits issued by the LGUs of Panglao and Dauis in the implementation of any development plan;
- Based on its reviews, make necessary or proper recommendations to the LGUs and other concerned agencies whether permits or clearances should be issued;
- Require the revision of submitted development plans should they not comply with the guidelines; and
- Enlist the support and assistance of government agencies and other concerned bodies should these be required to make a thorough assessment of plan.
Damalerio said the REDCOM may also seek assistance from the DOT to improve the committee’s capacity to accomplish its tasks.
With Damalerio as chairman, the REDCOM members include the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO), Bohol Tourism Office (BTO), Provincial Engineering Office (PEO), Provincial Health Office (PHO) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources / Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office ((DDENR/PENRO).
Damalerio said their top urgent job now is to review the local land use plans and the development projections then made by an expert urban planner.
He foresaw a “very decisive balancing act” to do, although Damalerio committed to ensure proper consultation with and transparency and fairness to all stakeholders.
“We have to do drastic action when necessary, although there is always due process to observe,” he said.
Damalerio said they just make sure that good local zoning is implemented, further emphasizing conformity to proper urban planning, building code, accessibility laws, etcetera.
REDCOM’s ultimate goal is to help ensure sustainability of Panglao island development where hard development balances with the environment.
“The laws should not be awaited to enforce themselves. Let obedience gives the laws their best reason for being,” Damalerio said.
DOT THANKS BOHOL ACTIONS
Herself apprised by the governor, the DOT secretary thanked Chatto for the “initiatives to preserve the coastal environment of Panglao.”
Tasking the REDCOM under Damalerio to review Panglao island development is just one of the initiatives.
Damalerio is also the project manager of the Local Project Management Team (LPMT) for the Bohol Panglao Airport Project.
Tulfo-Teo said her agency always supports actions in making Bohol a destination of choice.
With the impeccable growth in tourist arrivals, recognizing the carrying of Panglao island and preservation of its environment become imperative, she said.
“This makes your undertakings significant,” Tulfo-Teo told Chatto in her letter received by the governor last week.
Damalerio said between two million and 2.5 million Bohol tourists are expected annually in the first three years of operation of the new airport of international standard.
She said the DOT has programs further making Bohol “a highly-sought destination, an environmentally-equipped area, and a culturally-sensitive, economically-viable, and ethically and socially-equitable place for local communities.” (Ven rebo Arigo)