The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII, during its 4th Quarter 2016 regular Full Council meeting on 20 December 2016, endorsed the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan for 2017-2022. Said endorsement is embodied in RDC VIII Resolution No. 102, Series of 2016, “Endorsing the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan 2017-2022, Subject to the Recommendations Agreed On.”

It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Memorandum Circular No. 12, Series of 2016, which directs the NEDA secretariat to coordinate the formulation of the country’s national and regional development plans and the accompanying investment programs.

The RDC, as the highest policy-making body in the region, is mandated to coordinate the preparation of the RDP per Executive Order No. 325, Series of 1996. The NEDA Regional Offices, as the RDC secretariat and the central planning agency of the government, provide the technical support in the formulation process.

Prior to its endorsement by the Council, the draft RDP underwent a series of consultations with the regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), business groups, religious sectors, non-government organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders.

The RDP, which serves as the blueprint of the region’s development direction, is anchored on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Long-Term Vision of Filipinos or AmBisyon Natin 2040 and the 0+10 Point Socioeconomic Agenda of President Duterte.

The Plan highlights the twin regional goals of robust and sustained economic growth and reduced poverty and inequality in all dimensions. Challenges and opportunities of various development sectors identified were paralleled with the region’s strategic framework, which spells out future development goals, objectives, targets and strategies. Major programs and projects were also laid out to translate the strategies into concrete interventions.

The Plan will be subjected to further refinements prior to its submission to the Office of the President by end of January 2017.

Annielyn B. Costiniano, PFPD, NEDA VIII