Region Four consultation on regional name, flag and emblem productive- Chairwoman, Genevieve Allen

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, April 03, 2017

Chairperson of Region four, Genevieve Allen, says that region-wide consultation on the regional flag, emblem and renaming is proceeding with much success.

In keeping with a decision taken at the inaugural meeting of the National Regional Development Consultative Committee (NRDCC) in January, the Regional Administration of Region Four, in early February, began consultations on the initiative and is hoping to conclude in time for the April 30 deadline set to return to the NRDCC with a decision.

Region Four Chairperson, Genevieve Allen

Allen was part of a ministerial team comprising Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan and Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, that visited Region Eight  and met with the RDC to address issues pertaining to the region’s development.

Sharing the experiences of Region Four, Allen said that residents have been suggesting what they would want to see on the Region Four flag and as the emblem.

“Some of them have even said to us, why only have two colours? They have said to us that maybe you can have the addition of another colour to reflect the agriculture base that is within our region,” she said.

The Region Four Chairperson also observed that during the engagements, the Region Four RDC has been able to hear from the residents on other issues relating to the region’s development.

“One of the things  we have observed is that within these meetings, because the regional authorities are there,  the residents use the forum  as an opportunity to interact with us, to raise matter of concerns, and to give us recommendations  on how possibly we can make an impact on their lives,” she said.

Meanwhile, Regional Eight Chairman, Bonaventure Fredericks, explained that prior to the decision taken at the NRDCC, the region had started consultations on the initiative.

“We made some copies of the flags, we shared it in the villages and asked the leaders what they thought and we also brought them up to date on what was happening,” Fredericks said.

Fredericks explained that while the residents did not have an issue with the flag, there was some confusion with the renaming of the region. “We have started the consultation, so we just have to continue now,” he said.

The proposed regional flags and emblems were presented at the inaugural meeting of the NRDCC and the decision was taken that the ten Regional Democratic Councils would commence regional consultations with stakeholders about these and the issue of the regions’ renaming towards having a determination of all by the end of April.

The main opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had however, rejected the move resulting in the regions that the opposition won in the 2015 elections being sluggish in holding their consultations.

Chairman of Region One, Brentnol Ashley, in an article in one of the daily newspapers, rejected the idea.

Speaking at the meeting in Kato last week, Minister Bulkan said that he was disappointed by the move of the Region One Chairman. “I was saddened when I saw the article… as the regional chairman, (he) holds a public office and he has a duty to confirm to national policies,” the minister said.

Bulkan reminded that the move to rename the regions and for them to have their own flag and emblem, is part of an initiative by the central government to encourage the regions to develop their own identity.

“It is part and parcel of the principle of regional empowerment and having stronger regions….where it is felt by having your own flag and having a symbol of your region, it would help to create a greater pride and identity,” the minister explained.

The minister explained that the decision taken by the administration, is designed to give the people an opportunity to make a determination on whether  to move forward with the emblems and flags or to keep or to change their region’s name.

 

By: Macalia Santos

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