NEGROS Occidental will be declared "peaceful and ready for further development” in rites set Wednesday morning at the Negros Occidental Multi-Purpose Center in Bacolod City.

Brigadier General Jon Aying, outgoing commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade, said Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. will make the declaration as chairman of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC).

Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Pio Catapang is expected to witness the declaration, he said.

Aying said the absence of major insurgency-related incidents for more than a decade and the positive indicators of improved delivery of basic social services are among the considerations for an area to qualify as “peaceful and ready for further development.”

He added that the declaration of Negros Occidental as such is “a milestone of creating an enabling environment for the permanent closure of armed conflict and mindset people to be peaceful and progressive by doing away with all forms of violence.”

Aying, who started his stint in Negros as Army battalion commander, has been declared adopted son of the province through a resolution authored by First District Board Member Renato Gustilo, chairman of the committee on peace and order.

He is cited also for crafting the “Winning the Peace Framework” program in Negros Occidental.

The program includes campaigns in law enforcement, integrated community defense and public safety, legal cooperation, security sector reform, grassroots community development, and disaster risk and reduction management.

Through the framework, the Provincial Peace, Integration Development Unit was organized, and the responsibility of every sector of society in pursuing peace and development campaign in Negros Occidental was institutionalized.