The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Development Committee met recently in efforts, among others, to address disparities in regional development programs, officials said.
Hosted by the NEDA Region XI office, the government’s primary development agency at the same time held its board’s Regional Development Committee (RDCom) Mindanao Area Secretariat meeting on September 9-10 at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City.
The two-day activity was attended by NEDA Regional Directors for Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and the Executive Director of ARMM Regional Planning and Development Office. NEDA Deputy Director-General Margarita Songco, ADG Rose G. Edillon, AD Florante G. Igtiben, OIC-Director Remedios S. Endencia and AD Kathleen P. Mangore were also present in the meeting.
On the second day, discussions proved essential to development of Mindanao areas in addressing supposed disparities in regional development priorities, through promoting equitable allocation of resources to respond to critical regional and local development needs, pursuant to Executive Order No. 257, series of 2003.
NEDA Region 12 Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim said the activity, the first-round of NEDA’s Area Secretariat Meeting for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, was a perfect opportunity for review and discussion on updating the Philippine Development (PDP), Public Investment Program (PIP), as well as the Regional Development Plan (RDP) Midterm Update preparation, the National Spatial Strategy (NSS) and the National Transport Plan (NTP).
DDG Margarita R. Songco said that parts of the activity were specifically aimed at looking into common constraints and challenges and key sectoral priorities to be able to move forward and contribute to national development goals. She also emphasized that the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), as well as the Regional Development Plan shall be more inclusive in the remaining planning period.
Engineer Baintan Adil-Ampatuan, RPDO-ARMM Executive Director gave much emphasis on the inclusion of Mindanao River Basin into the PDP drawing boards, it being one of the major concerns of the ARMM in addressing perennial flooding in areas bounded by the Cotabato River Valley, including Maguindanao. Sources said 10 major projects have been included in the master plan for preparation of either feasibility study or pre-feasibility study.
During the forum, regional inputs were also generated and presented for the National Spatial Strategy and for Technical Assistance on the National Transport Plan (NTP).
Songco said that the activity had generated discussion on major development agenda concerning updates on the preparation of the PDP Mid-term Update as well as the regional development plan updating.
ADG Rose G. Edillon and Ad Florante G, Igtiben presented PDP updates and of the Public Investment Program (PIP). ADG Edillon said “the Vision for the Philippines is a reawakened sense of right and wrong, through the living examples of our highest leaders”. She then explained the National Development Framework containing chapters of the PDP on the national goal of poverty reduction, and creation of massive employment opportunities, leading to inclusive socio-economic growth.
The meeting initially projected agenda of the RDCOm for 2013 until 2014. It also proposed tentative venues of the RDCOM meetings which will be hosted by each of the NEDA regional offices in Mindanao.