Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII Chairperson and Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla was unanimously selected as the new Chairperson of the Regional Development Committee – Visayas Area Committee (RDCom-VAC) during its reorganization meeting on 08 July 2020 on Zoom.

Gov. Petilla was chosen among the three RDC Chairpersons in the Visayas and is expected to lead the Committee in the next two years. This is his second time leading the RDCOm-VAC, as he also led it from 2015-2017 during his 2013-106 term as RDC VIII Chairperson.

The RDCom-VAC is one of the three area committees of the NEDA Board RDCom (with the two others for Luzon and Mindanao). The body is a venue for the three RDCs in the Visayas to raise issues and concerns that require action or support as one Visayas.

The RDCom-VAC also tackled concerns and proposals by the Visayas RDCs during the meeting. In response to an issue raised by RDC VI Chairperson Gov. Rhodora J. Cadiao, the Committee passed a resolution to address the issue of low-quality consultancy services provided to local government units (LGUs) in updating their comprehensive land use plans (CLUPs) by enjoining the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) to come up with a program to orient, regulate, and accredit private consultants providing assistance to cities and municipalities.

Meanwhile, RDC VII Chairperson Kenneth Cobonpue brought up the issue of the laggard internet connection in the country, and the possibility of using new digital technologies to streamline government processes in light of this pandemic. With the members’ unanimous support, the Committee passed resolutions to request the national government to fast-track the implementation of National Broadband Plan (NBP) and enjoin the adoption of online transaction system by local government units and other concerned government agencies.

Upon recommendation of Chairperson Petilla, the RDCom-VAC also passed a resolution endorsing the proposed road rehabilitation and improvement projects for conflict-affected areas in Eastern Visayas to seek funding from the national government. Also, as pushed by the RDC VIII Co-Chair Luisita J. Quebec, the Committee endorsed RDC VIII’s request for the DHSUD to conduct an assessment study on the NHA Yolanda Permanent Housing Program in the Visayas, results of which will be used to improve future housing programs of the government.

Article and Photos by:  Knulp Aseo, NEDA VIII