Split of Bukidnon’s environment body pushed

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/26 Jan) – A provincial board member of Bukidnon is pushing for the split of the province’s environment body,
separating those tasked to preserve the environment, and those who are in charge of those who he said are out to destroy the environment,
referring to the mining industry.

Board member Nemesio Beltran Jr. got the nod of his peers as the provincial board passed a resolution he proposed that would separate
the Bukidnon Environment and Natural Resources Office (BENRO) because of the “incongruence of its function.”

In his proposed resolution, Beltran recommended to reorganize BENRO, which is now under the Provincial Governor’s Office, splitting it into
the “Bukidnon Environment Office” and the “Bukidnon Natural Resources Office.”

Beltran said that BENRO’s split personality is evident with its role to preserve the environment but at the same time taking charge of the
miners who are “destroyers of our environment.”
“It would be very awkward on their part to be environmentalists and destroyers of our environment at the same time,” he said, referring to
the BENRO personnel.
But Beltran traced the local split to that of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“It is very ironic that even the central office of the (DENR) has been assigned the function to take care of the environment and at the same
time to destroy it through mining activities,” he said.
Beltran said there is an “urgent need to remedy” the situation by separating the BENRO into two offices.

“This is a mongrel situation just like the dragon with two heads, one head is the environment and the other for mining,” he said.

Board member Rogelio Lago pushed that the board must first refer to the Local Government Code of 1991. But they agreed to do it when they
are ready to pass an ordinance.

The provincial board unanimously passed the resolution noting that an ordinance will be passed later on. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)