The new Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII Chairperson, Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Gonzalez-Romualdez, took her oath of office on 16 March 2017 at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office VIII, Government Center, Palo, Leyte.

The oath was administered by Hon. Judge Lauro Andres P. Castillo, Jr., of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 36, with the other RDC VIII officers as witnesses.

In her message, RDC VIII Chair Romualdez stressed that she intends to put the priorities of the RDC VIII along four development areas, namely: (1) poverty alleviation, especially in the island of Samar, (2) investment promotion, (3) infrastructure resiliency, and (4) tourism development.

RD Uy explained in his welcome remarks that the appointment of an RDC Chairperson carries with it the trust and confidence of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. He said that this is highlighted by the fact that Mayor Romualdez is the first to be appointed as RDC Chairperson among the Visayas regions.

After the oath-taking, Mayor Romualdez was briefed on the socio-economic profile of Eastern Visayas, highlights of the Regional Development Plan 2017-2022, and the mandates, structures and processes of the RDC and the NEDA-Board Regional Development Committee (RDCom) Area Committee.

Mayor Romualdez has already begun work as RDC VIII Chair as she and RD Uy discussed the reorganization of the RDC VIII Sectoral Committees and Executive Committee (ExCom) for the 2017-2019 term of office, the scheduled First Quarter 2017 RDC VIII Full Council Meeting on 22 March, the ExCom Meeting on 27 March, among other upcoming activities of the Council.

Other RDC VIII officers present were RDC VIII-Economic Development Committee Chair, DTI VIII RD Cynthia R. Nierras; RDC VIII-Social Development Committee Chair, DOST VIII RD Edgardo M. Esperancilla; and RDC VIII Private Sector Representatives Edmundo Gariando, Atty. Roy Bernard C. Fiel, and Oliver Cam.