ENGA Governor Peter Ipatas has welcomed the establishment of the Highlands regional National Planning and Monitoring office in Kundiawa, Simbu province.
Mr Ipatas applauded the gesture by National Planning and Monitoring Minister Paul Tiensten for initiating the establishment of separate regional office.
He told Mr Tiensten during the opening of the building last week, that it was fitting for the department to implement the roll- out programme of this initiative into the provinces and districts.
This, he said, marked the beginning of a new era of development cooperation between the decentralised provincial andLLGs and the National Government in developing uniform development planning and resource allocation.
The office in Kundiawa was opened by Mr Tiensten and was witnessed by senior department officers including secretary Joseph Lelang and representatives from the Highlands provinces.
Mr Ipatas said Highlands region had more than three quarters of the country’s population and had been the economic backbone of PNG.
He said Government agencies, NGOs, churches and other agencies would all use the office to access information to solicit financial assistance to deliver services.
Simbu was also acknowledged for allowing the department to establish the office in Kundiawa for the five provinces including the new Hela and Jiwaka provinces.
Mr Tiensten said the aim of decentralising the functions was to stop money “leaking” between the national and provincial governments and to monitor Government-funded projects.
The office is located on the top floor of the former North Simbu Rural Development building at the back of the Kondom Agaundo provincial government building.