The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII recently concluded its 4-day celebration of the 2020 RDC Week. The occasion kicked off on 22 September 2020, as officials of the RDC VIII and its Sectoral Committees (SecComs) went live on Facebook and DYVL, a wide-reach local radio station. A short video on the RDC was featured to introduce to the general public what the Council is and what it does. Updates on programs, projects and policies in the different sectors were discussed by the SecCom chairs. Questions from the media and netizens, ranging from operations of the RDC to issues concerning the development of Region VIII, were also answered.

The activity, called “Suruswerte: A Q and A Session with RDC VIII Officials,” was the first of its kind for the RDC VIII, as the Council adapts to the new normal. The session was part of a renewed thrust from the Council to increase awareness, understanding, and support for its activities as it plays an increased role in the socioeconomic development of the region.

“This is one of the best opportunities [for the Council] to share with the public, what the Council is, what it does, and what to expect from the RDC.” (Isa ito sa pinakamagandang pagkakataon, na maiparating talaga natin sa ating mga kababayan, kung ano ba talaga ang ginagawa, nangyayari, at kung ano ang i-expect natin sa mga ginagawa dito sa Regional Development Council) said RDC VIII Co-Chairperson Luisita J. Quebec in her opening message.

It was only the opening salvo in a week-long celebration that included multiple virtual activities following this year’s theme, “RDC VIII: Building a Better Future in the New Normal.” The theme highlights the role of the Council in navigating the opportunities and challenges of the new normal and beyond.

“We want the government to be able to address the needs of the people… after all, this government, this isn’t ours (public officials), but the people’s.” (Ang gusto nating mangyari, itong gobyerno na ito, makaya niyang tugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng mga tao… after all, itong gobyerno na ito, hindi ito amin, ang may-ari ng gobyerno na ito – kayo, ang constituents) said RDC VIII Chairperson and Leyte Province Governor Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla.

The Council followed this with a webinar titled, “Leading Behind the Scenes: Strengthening Support Mechanisms for Councils and Other Inter-agency Bodies in Region VIII,” conducted for the regional line agencies, local government units (LGUs), and other stakeholders in the region to strengthen their capability to provide support services for their respective organizations as decision-making bodies. The webinar on September 23 was simultaneously streamed online and was attended by over one hundred (100) people from across the region.

On September 24, the RDC VIII-Private Sector Representatives met with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) VIII to discuss issues on the implementation of projects in the region. The closed-door meeting featured a back and forth discussion between the two sides on possible solutions to address the issues causing the delays in the projects in the region.

To close the week, the RDC VIII – through its secretariat, the National Economic and Development Authority Region VIII – convened local planners from all levels in the region for a “Zoomustahan Session with the Local Planner” where they discussed possible ways forward for the Council and the local planners in the region. This was aimed at expanding partnership for the continued and enhanced socioeconomic development of Eastern Visayas.

The RDC Week is a product of Proclamation No. 1164 of former President Fidel V. Ramos, which declared the fourth week of September as RDC Week to commemorate the founding of the RDCs as a key element for local and regional development.

Article by:  Knulp Aseo, NEDA VIII
Photos from: NEDA VIII