Over 120 stakeholders from the private sector, regional line agencies, local government units, and the academe gathered at the Felipina Hall of NEDA Regional Office VIII, Palo, Leyte on Thursday, 15 September 2022, to dream together for the future of Eastern Visayas.

In consideration the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region as well as recent global developments, the Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII deemed it necessary to conduct a reassessment on whether the collective dream that was imagined by the people of Region VIII in 2016 still applies moving forward.

This was done by revisiting the region’s current long-term vision in the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan (EV-RDP) 2017-2022 Strategic Framework, which after discussion, was reworded for brevity to “A resilient and prosperous Eastern Visayas where people enjoy equitable opportunities for sustainable human development.”

In her opening message, NEDA VIII RD Meylene C. Rosales asked the participants, “What is it really that we want our region and our people to be?” Recognizing that “now is the time to take stock of our situation,” RD Rosales cited the improvement in the region’s poverty ranking from the 2nd poorest nationwide in 2015 to 5th poorest in 2021, but underscored that Eastern Visayas can perform so much better given its rich natural endowments and human resources.

The participants likewise revisited the region’s medium-term goals, which, after scrutiny, was changed to “Robust, inclusive, and sustained economic growth, and improved quality of life and well-being of all.”

Organized in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the said visioning exercise was facilitated by Ms. Carmela Ariza. It is part of the RDC VIII workshop series towards formulating the successor EV RDP 2023-2028. The successor RDP with its companion documents will be presented for approval of the RDC VIII Full Council in December 2022.

Article by: Rommel Rodrigo D. Ceblano (PFPD)
Photos by: Knulp D. Aseo (DRD) and Rommel Rodrigo D. Ceblano (PFPD)