The Regional Development Council (RDC VIII) and NEDA Regional Office in Eastern Visayas (NRO VIII) launched the Philippine Development Plan and the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan (EV-RDP) for 2017-2022 on November 10 in Eastern Visayas.
The launch included other activities such as a motorcade in the streets of Tacloban City and Palo, a symposium held at The Oriental Hotel, Palo, Leyte and an exhibit held at the Robinsons Place Tacloban. The activities aimed to create public awareness and to solicit active participation and concrete action in attaining the PDP and EV-RDP development goals and outcomes to realize the Filipinos collective long-term vision of a Matatag, Maginhawa at Panatag na Buhay para sa lahat, as embodied in Ambisyon Natin 2040.
The PDP and the EV-RDP are anchored on the Duterte administration’s 0 -10 point Socioeconomic Agenda and geared towards the Ambisyon Natin 2040 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs serve as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
In the keynote speech of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia at the symposium delivered by Development Information Staff Director Nerrisa T. Esguerra of the NEDA Central Office, she emphasized the critical role of the country’s national vision as guide for all sectors in the region to work together in making Eastern Visayas a valuable player in transforming the country into an inclusive and globally-competitive economy. She also highlighted the need for Filipinos to work towards common goals and the need to address emerging challenges without losing sight of the country’s long term goals. She also stressed that “the support of our local government units, institutions and private organizations is essential in translating our vision into action for us to ultimately see and feel the results”.
Meanwhile, RDC VII Chairperson and Tacloban City Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez said that the PDP and EV-RDP are both critical because they capture in written words the dreams and aspirations of Filipinos including the people of Eastern Visayas. She added that the EV-RDP offers hope that by 2022, Eastern Visayas will have a robust and sustained economic growth, reduced poverty and inequality in all dimensions. “If we altogether maintain the enthusiasm, we will catapult Eastern Visayas into a progressive and resilient region”, she stressed.
The EV-RDP identified agriculture and fishery and tourism sectors including the manufacturing subsector as the major growth drivers in Eastern Visayas, owing to the sectors potential in generating income and employment opportunities. The following speakers were invited to share their expertise and insights in transcending development challenges along these sectors, which offered clear definition of success stories and stirred continued hope and commitment of action among stakeholders in the region: (a) Philippine Coconut Authority Regional Manager Joel Pilapil talked about the Status of Coconut Industry in Eastern Visayas ; (b) Senior Vice-President for Legal and Corporate Affairs Atty. Manuel R. Del Rosario of the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (PASAR) presented PASAR: Supporting the Philippines’ Industrialization through Copper Smelting and Refining ; and (c) Samar Governor Sharee Ann T. de los Santos presented Spark Samar: Tourism as One of the Growth Drivers of the EV-RDP.
The launch, which was also part of the nationwide PDP Roadshow, was attended by around 300 regional directors, heads, local chief executives, presidents, and representatives from the regional line agencies, local government units, private sector, civil society organizations, state universities and colleges in the region, media, among others.
Article by Meliza Y. Bacolbas and Mary Fretzie R. Basal, NEDA Eastern Visayas
Photos by Mary Fretzie R. Basal, NEDA Eastern Visayas