House Speaker and Leyte 1st District Representative Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez presented his priority programs and projects in Eastern Visayas during the Special Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII Full Council Meeting on 24 May 2023 at the Batasang Pambansa, Quezon City.

These include the rehabilitation and expansion of the Samar-segment of the Maharlika Highway, construction of the Visayas Sports and Tourism Complex in Tolosa, Leyte, the Second San Juanico Bridge, the University of the Philippines – Sta. Elena Campus in Tacloban City, and the Eastern Visayas International Seaport in Babatngon, Leyte, among others.

The RDC VIII resolved to support the priorities of the House Speaker by creating technical working groups (TWGs) to ensure the realization of the projects.

Speaker Romualdez also emphasized the need to secure more funding to address the region’s needs,

encouraging all stakeholders to work together toward the same goal.

“We need to diligently craft proposals that prioritize the needs of our region and bring the batting average of the RDC Budget proposal closer to 40 percent. By securing adequate funding for our priority programs and projects, we can accelerate our progress and maximize the impact of our initiatives”, said Speaker Romualdez.

Before leaving for another meeting, the Speaker also surprised the RDC VIII-Private Sector Representatives (PSRs) with their own laptops, in response to the clamor of the PSRs for greater ICT support as the RDC VIII shifts to adopt more digital technologies in its day-to-day operations.

Meanwhile, the RDC VIII also tackled updates on various big-ticket projects across the region. These projects are in various stages of development. They include the Eastern Visayas Metro Railway System (EVMRS), the Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone (LEIZ), the Eastern Visayas Airport Development Program, the proposed Second San Juanico Bridge, and the proposed Yolanda Memorial Museum and Learning Center.

The RDC VIII encouraged proponent agencies and local government units (LGUs) to ensure the timely implementation of these projects and to constantly provide the Council with updates.

The Special RDC VIII Full Council meeting was conducted on the back of the RDC VIII Advisory Committee meeting conducted earlier in the day.

Article and Photos by: Knulp Aseo, DRD