The RDC VIII traces its roots to the reorganization of the national government by then-President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1972. Through Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1, President Marcos implemented the Integrated Reorganization Plan of the Executive Department which divided the country into what was then eleven (now 17) regions and the organization of a Regional Development Council (RDC) in fifteen out of the seventeen regions (except NCR and BARMM).
In the same year, the RDCs were formally organized, through Letter of Instruction (LOI) No. 22, to serve as the main planning and policy-making body of the regions to help direct their socioeconomic development.
The 1987 Constitution emphasized the importance of the RDCs in the regions. Article X, Sec. 14 states that:
“The President shall provide for REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCILS or other similar bodies composed of local government officials, regional heads of departments and other offices, and representatives from other non-government organizations within the region for purposes of administrative decentralization to strengthen the autonomy of the units in the region.”
To carry out this provision, President Corazon C. Aquino issued Executive Order (EO) No. 308 on 05 November 1987, with the objective of reorganizing the RDCs. Subsequent amendments to EO 308 were then made with the issuance of EOs Nos. 318 (s. 1988), 347 and 366 (s. 1989), 455 (s. 1991) and 505 (s. 1992).
In 1996, to provide clarity on the functions and purpose of the Council, President Fidel Ramos issued EO No. 325, s. 1996. The EO aims to reorganize and strengthen the RDCs to make them more effective institutions in the regions, responsible for ensuring sustainable, participatory and equitable development. The EO also aims to make the RDC more responsive to current developments in the regions, and ensure a sustainable and broad-based development process.
Today, EO 325 continues to be the basis of the operations of the RDC. The Council continues to guide the socioeconomic direction of the region and serves as a forum where local efforts can be coordinated toward a better future for the region.
What is the RDC?
The Regional Development Council (RDC) is the highest planning and policy-making body in the region. It serves as the counterpart of the NEDA Board at the sub-national level. It is the primary institution that sets and coordinates the direction of all economic and social development efforts in the region and serves as a forum where local efforts can be related and integrated with regional and national development activities.
The RDC was created to answer the need for a single planning body whose main concern is the overall socio-economic development of the region. Regional development planning is necessary to address the uneven economic and social development in the country. It stems from the recognition that growth and advancement over the years remain unevenly distributed and that progress has been concentrated in a few regions.
In recent years, local autonomy has brought to the fore the need to empower local chief executives and officials in spearheading development in their respective jurisdictions. This strengthens and complements the vital role of the RDC in coordinating local initiatives that could further accelerate the socio-economic development of the region.
Functions of the RDC
The RDC undertakes the following functions as provided for in Executive Order No. 325 (as amended):
- Coordinate the preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of short- and long-term regional development plans and investment programs, regional physical framework plan and special development plans;
- Formulate policy recommendations;
- Integrate approved development plans of provinces and cities, line agencies, state universities and colleges, government owned and/or controlled corporations and special development authorities in the region into the regional development plan;
- Review, prioritize, and endorse to the national government the annual and multi-year investment programs of the regional line agencies for funding and implementation;
- Review and endorse to the national government the annual budgets of agency regional offices, state colleges and universities, and special development authorities;
- Promote and direct the inflow and allocation of private investments in the region to support regional development objectives, policies, and strategies;
- Review and endorse national plans, programs and projects proposed for implementation in the regions;
- As required by the Investment Coordinating Committee (ICC) of the NEDA Board, review and endorse projects of national government agencies and local government units that have impact on the region and projects of LGUs in the region requiring national government financial exposure which may come in the form of guarantees, national government budget appropriations or subsidies, among others;
- Initiate and coordinate the development, funding and implementation of regional and special development projects such as those involving several agencies or local government units;
- Coordinate the monitoring and evaluation of development projects undertaken by government agencies, LGUs, state colleges and universities, government-owned and/or controlled corporations and special development authorities in the region; and
- Perform other related functions and activities as may be necessary to promote and sustain the socio-economic development of the region
Further, the RDC assists its LGU members in the preparation of local development plans, local investment programs, and in the preparation of program/project proposals for possible official development assistance. Among the important responsibilities of the RDC are, but not limited to, the following:
- Approve the Regional Development Plan, the Regional Physical Framework Plan and the Regional Development Investment Program;
- Ensure the consistency of the local development plans and investment programs with the region’s development directions and priorities, through coordination with the Provincial and City Development Councils;
- Submit an annual assessment of plan implementation and an integrated report on the performance of the region’s economy;
- Identify and prescribe uniform systems, standards, methods and institutional arrangements in the preparation of plans, investment programs, monitoring reports, socio-economic profiles and other undertakings among its members;
- Accept donations, contributions, grants, bequests or gifts in cash or in kind from any source in support of the Council’s activities or as a contribution to the undertaking of a development program, project, or activity; and
- Advocate and promote ideals and values which are consistent and contributory to the development goals of the region.