Members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII approved the Private Sector Representative (PSR) Selection Guidelines for the term 2019-2022 in addition to thirty (30) other resolutions during the RDC VIII Full Council Meeting held on June 21, 2019 at the NEDA Regional Office VIII, Palo, Leyte.

The passage of the guidelines signalled the start of the reorganization process that will be undertaken by the Council in the third quarter of this year. It comes as the three-year term of office of the current Chairperson, Co-Chairperson, Special Non-Voting Members (SNVMs) and PSRs end this June 30, 2019, coinciding with the regular term of elective officials.

The guidelines was heatedly deliberated upon by the Council members, especially on the proposed sectoral allocation for the coming term, as the fifteen seats for the PSRs did not seem to be enough to represent the many marginalized and interest groups in the region.

Meanwhile, the outgoing PSRs were recognized for their proactive and sustained efforts in putting forth priority resolutions that led to positive and meaningful changes in the socio-economic conditions of the region. The Council expressed its gratitude by awarding the PSRs with certificates of recognition before the start of the afternoon session.

Amendments to the RDC VIII Manual of Operations were also approved. There were important changes in the Council’s media protocol, procedures on requesting official records, use of secretariat facilities and vehicles, provisions on the functions and responsibilities of the members, as well as the inclusion of new affiliate committees such as the Regional Gender and Development Committee (RGADC), Regional Statistics Committee (RSC) and the Regional Research, Development and Innovation Committee (RRDIC).

The meeting also featured the State of the Region Address (SORA) of RDC VIII Chaiperson Cristina Gonzalez-Romualdez. Delivering the speech on her behalf was RDC VIII Acting Vice-Chairperson Meylene C. Rosales. In her SORA, she lauded the region’s economic growth in the past year highlighting the strong performances by the Services and Industry sectors. However, she did recognize that there were still some issues to be addressed especially in the agriculture and fishery and manufacturing sectors which missed several of the year’s targets.

Nevertheless, the SORA expressed optimism for the future of the region, with newly-implemented and anticipated projects and policies expected to continue to spur economic growth in Eastern Visayas.

Among these are the thirty-one new resolutions passed by the body during the meeting which will now be endorsed to concerned agencies for appropriate action.

Article and Photos by Knulp Aseo, NEDA VIII