The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII approved the guidelines for the preparation and review of the FY 2022 priority programs and projects (PPs) of agency regional offices (AROs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), among other items, during its Fourth Quarter 2020 Full Council Meeting on 25 November 2020 on Zoom.

The meeting was presided over by RDC VIII Co-Chairperson Luisita J. Quebec on behalf of Chairperson Governor Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla who was unable to attend the meeting.

Originally approved in 2019, the guidelines were reformulated to take into account recent priorities of the government, namely: the (1) Eastern Visayas Regional Recovery Plan for COVID-19; (2) Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act; (3) the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program; and (4) Program on Ending the Local Communist Armed Conflict.

The guidelines will help strengthen the vertical and horizontal linkages of the governments’ investment programming and budgeting and serve as the RDC VIII’s coordination and review mechanism to ensure that the programs and projects implemented by government entities in the region align with regional and national priorities and support the country’s commitments to international agreements, cooperation and treaties, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the same meeting, the Council also approved the FY 2022 Eastern Visayas Annual Investment Program (AIP) which amounts to PhP115.48 billion worth of total development investment requirements for the region in 2022.

The AIP is the set of priority programs, activities and projects (PAPs) of Eastern Visayas for the year. It takes into account regional priorities and serves as the basis for the preparation of the annual budget proposals of AROs, SUCs, and GOCCs.

The approval of the budget preparation and review guidelines and the AIP marks the beginning of the budget process for 2022 as agencies prepare and wait for the budget call from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

On another matter, the Council also approved the composition of the RDC VIII Special Committee on the SDG – Technical Working Groups which will lead the region’s thrust toward the attainment of the SDGs by 2030. The RDC VIII also approved/endorsed a total of nineteen (19) resolutions which aim to address important sectoral concerns in the region.

Article and Photos by:  Knulp Aseo, NEDA VIII