The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII approved the 2021 Regional Development Report during its face-to-face Second Quarter Meeting on 23 June 2022 at the Leyte Provincial Government Complex, Palo, Leyte.

The RDR provides a thorough analysis of the region’s performance along key sectors and contains policy recommendations to sustain the accomplishments, fill in the gaps, and address the challenges in attaining the targets set forth in the Results Matrices of the Updated Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 as the region grapples with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Typhoon Odette.

In addition, plaques of commendation were awarded to the outgoing RDC VIII officers and members for the term 2019-2022, in recognition of their exemplary leadership and significant contributions to the Council and the region. Coinciding with the term of local elective officials, the term of office of the Chairperson, Co-Chairperson, and private sector representatives (PSRs) will end on 30 June 2022.

The Council also approved the RDC VIII resolution tracking tool which aims to enhance the existing monitoring scheme and ensure an immediate and substantive response from concerned agencies or institutions for the resolution of issues or concerns.

Likewise endorsed were 16 sectoral concerns of the RDC VIII-Sectoral Committees (SecComs) raised during the Second Quarter SecCom meetings. Five resolutions by the RDC VIII-Executive Committee were also confirmed.

Additionally, the Council discussed the summary performance monitoring report of the SecComs, and the highlights of the Second Quarter Meeting of the Regional Committee on Devolution VIII on 31 March 2022.

Further, the RDC VIII Co-Chairperson and PSR for Mass Media, Luisita Quebec, presented a report on the RDC VIII PSRs’ participation in the 13th National Convention. Likewise, the RDC VIII-EDC Co-Chairperson and PSR for Tourism, Reynaldo Franco, discussed the outputs of the two-day PSRs Assessment Workshop on 25-26 April at the Sabin Resort Hotel in Ormoc City. During the workshop, the PSRs identified their best practices and significant contributions to the Council, as well as various policy recommendations that would aid in the pursuit of a sustainable, participatory, and equitable Eastern Visayas.

The meeting was presided over by the RDC VIII Chairperson and Leyte Province Governor, Hon. Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, who stressed that people are the greatest resource in economic development. He said that human development—especially the reduction of malnutrition—is imperative. “We have sectors, really, who don’t believe in the RDC. But the RDC VIII has shown that the RDC matters and that the RDC can make a change,” he added.

The Second Quarter 2022 RDC VIII Full Council Meeting was the first face-to-face meeting of the Council since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.