LEGAZPI CITY – The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Masbate City broke ground on Thursday for the PHP40-million new office building that will be constructed on the same side as the existing PENRO office.

The four-story building was financed through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) fund approved by the Regional Development Council (RDC).

In a statement on Friday, Francisco E. Milla, Jr., DENR regional executive director, praised PENRO Masbate for its innovation, hard work, and dedication to the project.

"The word 'groundbreaking' of the soon-to-be building of the PENRO Masbate stands for far more than the literal breaking of the ground. It stands for groundbreaking PENRO Masbate to thrive in this soon-to-be beautiful space," he said.

Milla also said the new building stands for the synergy between national agencies and local government units.

"It stands for the groundbreaking generosity of DPWH. It stands for choosing to invest in a more safe and healthy workplace. And finally, it stands for a better, efficient, and effective public service for the people of Masbate,” he said.

Benito B. Salazar, Masbate PENR Officer, expressed his gratitude to DPWH 2nd Engineering District Engr. Simon D. Arias for the support extended to them.

He said the PENRO building is among those identified for demolition by local authorities which is why he never stopped finding means to realize the project.

“This project started with a vision and now it is a dream come true for us,” Benito said.

The groundbreaking ceremony was witnessed and participated in by Board Member Jamon J. Espares, Assistant Provincial Administrator Ramon A. James who represented Governor Antonio T. Kho and Congresswoman Elisa Olga T. Kho, and City Information Officer Marlon Ditan who represented Mayor Rowena R. Tuazon, Barangay Centro Chairperson Frances V. Anoñuevo, and DENR Assistant Regional Director Atty. Ronnel C. Sopsop. (With a report from Glydel Sarcia/PNA-OJT)