The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII, through the National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office (NRO) VIII as its secretariat, spearheaded the final stretch in the formulation of the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan (EV RDP) 2023-2028. This was in a workshop series on strategies and legislative agenda formulation and investment programming on 10, 11, and 15 November 2022 at the NEDA Regional Office VIII, Palo, Leyte.

Stakeholders from various sectors, both public and private, joined the three-day consultative activity to generate inputs for the social, economic, and enabling environment clusters that will broadly answer the question of “How do we get there?.” The region gears up to achieve the medium-term goals of “Robust, inclusive, and sustained economic growth” and “Improved quality of life and well-being of all.” It also envisions itself as “a resilient and prosperous Eastern Visayas where people enjoy equitable opportunities for sustainable human development.”

In her opening message, NRO VIII Regional Director Meylene C. Rosales thanked the attendees for their participation and commitment since the assessment workshops started in August, up to the visioning workshop in September, and the chapter and subchapter outcomes identification and target setting workshops in October. She also expressed gratitude to the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for the consultancy services rendered during the visioning workshop and for accepting the request for assistance in editing and packaging the EV RDP 2023-2028 and its companion documents. The editing will also ensure mainstreaming of the ecosystems-based approach in the Plan. She then underscored the importance of the technical planning group workshops as the resulting successor Plan will make or break the next six years for the region. Moreover, she appealed for everyone to contribute and be actively involved in breathing life into the Plan as it represents the aspirations of the people of Eastern Visayas. “Let us make Region VIII great, because it deserves to be great,” said Director Rosales.

The workshop series consisted of the NEDA VIII’s presentation of the processes in the (1) Identification of Strategies and Legislative Agenda and the (2) Formulation of the Regional Development Investment Program 2023-2028, each followed by breakout sessions, then the participants’ presentation of workshop outputs and an open forum.

The NEDA VIII writers will prepare the Plan based on the inputs generated from the workshops. The EV RDP 2023-2028 will then be presented to the RDC VIII Sectoral Committees and the Full Council for comments and adoption. All comments that the RDC VIII may raise will be incorporated accordingly and the Plan will be revised in terms of substance and form until finalized.

Article and Photos by: Lady Jane A. Fermano