The people of Rennell and Bellona Province have celebrated the province’s 24th Second Appointed Day with a call for greater cooperation amongst its people to advance their development aspirations.
A statement from Government Communication Unit said, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Manasseh Maelanga who officiated at the occasion made the call on Tuesday on Bellona Island.
He said, Renbel has been going through many challenges in trying to achieve its development goals since becoming a province in 1993.
The DPM said Renbel province, like any other provinces has the challenging responsibility to look after the affairs of its people with its limited manpower and capital resources.
“However, as long as we work together, set our strategies and implementation plans in the right direction, with shared vision and goals, am sure we can navigate the development of our province towards the right direction.
“I believe that once we work together and support each other on these issues, we can help drive development for the benefit of our people,” he added.
Mr Maelanga informed the gathering that the DCC Government believes in cordial participation and shared decision-making with strong emphasis on making sure resource owners benefit from their resources and are effective partners in the utilization of their resources.
“It is in this regard, that I appeal to your government to encourage the involvement of our resources owners, community members, and small investors to partake in decision-making processes to help enhance the provision of services to our people of Rennel and Bellona,” he said.
On assistances from the Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) which is administered by the Ministry of Provincial Government, Maelanga congratulated Renbel for meeting the minimum conditions for this year’s capacity development fund as a result of the hard work of the Premier and his team for maintaining the standards emphasized strongly in the PCDF operational rules.
This year, the DCC Government has injected $60 million for capital projects and $15 million for recurrent support to the PCDF programme despite the change of policy by donor partners such as the EU and the departure of RAMSI.
Phase 2 of the program runs from 2015 to 2019 which carries on with the programs of Phase 1, particularly on public expenditure management and institutional capacity building.
Phase 2 still maintains capital infrastructural development as incentives, local economic development initiatives, clarification of functions and social accountability.
“I encourage your government to continue to maintain its commitment to the program, so that your people can continue to reap the benefits from this program,” Maelanga said.
The benefits from PCDF is enormous as it provides a lot of funding opportunities for small scale infrastructural development projects, including classrooms and dormitory, office building, sports facilities, market houses, staff houses, footpaths and small retail outlets.
“I therefore appeal for your commitment, to continue to provide support in terms of planning with sound policy decisions, and to help move the province forward in terms of project implementation programs which are aimed to benefit our people,” he added.
Maelanga also used the occasion to donate SB$5000 each towards the Bellona Clinic and Community High School before returning to Honiara on Tuesday.