Private Sector Representatives (PSRs) from the Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII joined the 12th RDC-PSRs National Convention held virtually on 29-29 April 2021 via Zoom.

This year’s convention, with the theme “PSRs’ Role in the Regions’ Recovery and Resiliency” was focused on defining the role of the PSRs in the recovery and resiliency of the regions after facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speakers from different government agencies and institutions were present to discuss opportunities for private sector cooperation in the government’s plan for socioeconomic recovery post-pandemic.

Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, in his keynote speech, shared the country’s roadmap to economic recovery, underscoring the need for strong and proactive participation from the private sector.

Day 1 featured discussion by other key resource persons including Department of Health – Field Implementation and Coordination Director (DOH-FICD) Napoleon L. Arevalo who talked about the National COVID-19 Vaccination Plan; Philippine APEC Study Center Network Director Francis Mark A. Quimba tackled methods of increasing resiliency through digital transformation; Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) representative, Dr. Feliciano G. Calora, Jr presented innovations in the agriculture sector; and Department of Finance (DoF) Assistant Secretary Paola Sherina A. Alvarez discussed achieving AmBisyon Natin 2040 through sustainable finance.

Meanwhile, the heads of delegation of each region met on the second day for the business meeting to discuss a diverse range of issues relevant to all regions of the country. RDC VIII Co-Chairperson and Head of Delegation Luisita J. Quebec, raised the issue of the proposed defunding of the NTF-ELCAC. Noting that most programs and projects under ELCAC are socioeconomic programs for communities in far-flung and conflict-affected areas, she argued that defunding ELCAC will be counterintuitive to our aim of ending the long-running communist insurgency through the economic uplifting of the Filipinos. With the other PSRs in agreement, the body passed 12th RDC-PSRs NatCon Resolution No. 9 which expressed support to the NTF-ELCAC and opposed its proposed defunding.

Day 2 also featured the turnover and acceptance of RDC I who will host the 13th National Convention in 2022.

Although conducted virtually, the National Convention effectively served as a way for the RDC-PSRs to mingle and discuss their role in supporting government initiatives through their participation in the RDC. Held annually, this year’s convention is the second to be held virtually after the 11th edition of the NatCon in 2020 hosted by Eastern Visayas.

Article and Photos by:  Knulp Aseo