The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII approved the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan (EV RDP) 2023-2028 and its companion documents, the Results Matrices and the Regional Development Investment Program.  This was during its special meeting held last January 31 in Ormoc City.

The EV RDP is a medium-term socioeconomic strategy plan that provides the framework upon which the development of Eastern Visayas in the next six years will be anchored. Geared towards attaining AmBisyon Natin 2040 of a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay para sa lahat, it translates the current administration’s 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda into strategies, policies, targets, and programs projects, with the socio-economic and geographic conditions of Region VIII also considered.

During the meeting, four provinces and five cities of the region presented their priority programs and projects for the six-year period for alignment in the EV RDP.

In the same meeting, the Council also approved the creation of a tasks force for the proposed Eastern Visayas Metro Railway System (EVMRS). The proposed EVMRS will be situated in the islands of Samar and Leyte and will be calendared for implementation in 2026 with an estimated project cost of PhP10 billion. The said Task Force, chaired by the Department of Transportation Central Office, will do the legwork necessary to facilitate funding and preparation of a master plan and feasibility study for the railway system.

The regional winners of the 2022 Search for Outstanding Volunteers were also awarded with plaques of recognition.  Retired Major General Edgardo de Leon of the 8th Infantry Division-Philippine Army, former special non-voting member of the Council, was also present to receive a plaque of recogntion for his remarkable contributions to Region VIII’s development during his stint as Commanding General of the 8ID.

“This afternoon, we are about to endorse and approve the draft Regional Development Plan. I hope that this plan will be translated into actions and concrete solutions to the pressing issues of our region. I also hope that all our priorities—from the region down to the barangays—are aligned with the development thrust of our region so that we are one,” said Co-Chairperson Leo Christian V. Lauzon.

“As we pursue a bigger dream for the region, we need to strengthen each LGU. I hope that in today’s meeting, we will come up with wonderful decisions that will make our region shine. Like I always say, maybe we cannot fix the problems of the entire Philippines, but we can do what we can to make our region reach its full potential, “ said Chairperson Lucy Marie Torres-Gomez in her opening message.

Article by:  Veronica Riel, DRD
Photos by: Knulp Aseo, DRD