TACLOBAN CITY – The Regional Development Council (RDC) has approved on Friday the P651.66 billion 2017-2022 Regional Development Investment Program (RDIP) after months of drafting and series of consultations.
The amount has increased significantly from the total P430 billion proposed prior to the RDC sector committee meetings three weeks ago.
“There was an adjustment because we included more infrastructure projects especially those aligned in the priority of the Duterte administration. We need to build, build, build to support the President’s priority programs,” said RDC Vice Chairman and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Bonifacio Uy.
The RDIP contains a list and brief profile of programs and projects of agency regional offices and state universities and colleges in support of strategies outlined in the Regional Development Plan (RDP).
It also includes a list of activities of the six provincial governments in the region proposed for official development assistance funding and implementation by the central government.
The RDC will proofread the approved investment program, print the document, and send to the NEDA main office by October.
“This is still subject to regular updating to see what the needed projects are every year. Projects that are deemed important and critical for the region to attain development plan,” Uy added.
The projects and activities in the RDIP concretize the strategies in the main RDP. It has 15 key strategies meant to reduce poverty and sustain economic growth.
The 15 plan of actions are science and technology innovations, reducing inequality in opportunities in human development, accelerating infrastructure development, promoting regional competitiveness, reaching for the demographic dividend, promoting Eastern Visayas culture and values formation expanding economic opportunities in farming and fisheries.
Other strategies are enhancing peace, security, public order, and justice administration; enhancing disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation; enhancing good governance; building resiliency of individuals and families; expanding economic opportunities in industry; maintaining ecological integrity and a clean and healthy environment; providing an enabling and supportive macroeconomic environment; and expanding economic opportunities in services.
The RDP, which serves as the blueprint of the region’s development direction, is anchored on the Sustainable Development Goals, the Long-Term Vision of Filipinos or “Ambisyon Natin 2040” and President Duterte’s 0+10 Point Socioeconomic Agenda.
The RDC, the region’s highest policymaking body, approved the new RDP during its full council meeting on December 20, 2016.
Under the plan, the region aims to attain 5.2 percent to 5.7 percent economic growth in 2017.
For 2018 to 2022, the average target is 5.8 percent to 7 percent. In 2015, the region posted a remarkable growth of 3.9 percent in the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) due to massive post-Yolanda reconstruction activities.
The 2015 performance is a “significant turnaround” after the region incurred a 2.4 percent contraction in 2014, largely due to the destruction of the monster typhoon.
The region suffered a big drop in GRDP in 2012 at negative 6.8 percent after a minimal 2.1 percent increase in 2011.
It was followed with a big leap to 4.6 percent in 2013 due to the good economy before super typhoon “Yolanda” struck.
Last year, the region’s GRDP surged 12.4 percent, the highest among 17 regions in the country.
(Sarwell Q. Meniano/PNA)