All sectoral committees of the Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII reviewed and endorsed the guidelines for the preparation of the successor Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028 during their respective Fourth Quarter 2021 meetings.

NRO VIII, the RDP Secretariat, presented the said guidelines that consider the new normal and recent developments at the regional, national, and international levels. The guidelines may be amended as necessary once the national counterpart is issued.

Like its predecessor, the proposed overall strategies for the successor RDP are divided into three pillars: (1) building a high-trust society (Malasakit), (2) transforming towards equity and resilience (Pagbabago), and (3) increasing growth potential (Patuloy na Pag-unlad); supported by an enabling economic environment and strong foundations for sustainable development.

Issues and concerns relating to gender and development, such as gender equality and women’s empowerment, will be mainstreamed and integrated. Meanwhile, policies and strategies for disaster risk reduction and resilience-building will be strengthened.

The participation of local government units, regional line agencies, state universities and colleges, the private sector, and other regional stakeholders in the planning process is highly emphasized in the guidelines and is considered a vital aspect that should be strongly encouraged and sustained. As such, the guidelines prescribe planning among large implementing agencies with their major stakeholders prior to the multiple consultation-workshops of the technical planning groups.

NRO VIII also proposed to organize a series of capacity-building sessions for the RDP crafters of the region. These sessions will include scenario-building, futures thinking, facilitation, data visualization, among others.

Drafting the successor RDP will commence by the first quarter of 2022 and is expected to be approved by the first quarter of 2023.

Article and Photos by: Knulp Aseo