During the 3rd Quarter RDC VIII Full Council Meeting held on 13 September 2018 at the Kuting Reef Resort, Macrohon, Southern Leyte, the Council passed a resolution creating an ad hoc coordinating group to ensure the implementation of the programs, projects and activities needed for the 500th anniversary celebration of the first mass in the historical Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte.

The ad hoc coordinating group shall be headed by the Department of Tourism (DOT) VIII with members from the Province of Southern Leyte, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) VIII, Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the local government of Limasawa, Southern Leyte.

In support to the celebration, the Council also endorsed the installation of the First Mass’ Cross Shrine in Limasawa Island. It also resolved to declare Limasawa as the “true” and undisputed site of the historical first mass in the Philippines.

Preparations for the 500th year anniversary celebration of the first mass have earlier been endorsed by the RDC VIII during its 2nd Quarter Full Council Meeting held on 8 June 2018 at the Summit Hotel, Tacloban City. Said preparations include the establishment of a devotion park, First Mass cross park, the Magellan landing site, and an altar stage with mural background. The quincentennial commemoration will be on 21 March 2021.

The Council also urgently requested the honorable Congresspersons of Eastern Visayas to lobby for the inclusion in the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA) the funding requirements for the completion of the fifty-two (52) priority and on-going infrastructure or capital outlay projects of state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the region which were not included in the FY 2019 National Expenditure Program (NEP) through Resolution No. 59, Series of 2018.

The Council also approved the 2020 Annual Investment Program (AIP) of Region VIII and the RDC VIII Guidelines for the Review of 2020 Proposed Priority Programs and Projects.

Article by Veda Eslopor, DRD, NEDA VIII