Philippine News Agency (Manila Bulletin)
The government will come up with a 250-page Regional Development Plan (RDP), outlining strategies to attain up to 7 percent economic growth in Eastern Visayas between 2017 to 2022.
A six-man team from the NEDA regional is currently reviewing and editing the document for approval of NEDA regional director and subsequent submission to their central office and to the Office of the President.
NEDA assistant regional director Meylene Rosales said finalization of the RDP started on Jan. 18, and it will be completed on or before Jan. 31.
“The RDP highlights the twin regional goals of robust and sustained economic growth and reduced poverty and inequality in all dimensions. We want to see the growth translating into poverty rate reduction. Whatever gains we have in the economy should filter down to all sectors,” Rosales said.
Challenges and opportunities of various development sectors identified were paralleled with the region’s strategic framework, which spells out future development goals, objectives, targets and strategies, according to Rosales.
Major programs and projects were also laid out to translate the strategies into concrete interventions.
NEDA will print copies of RDP for members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) composed of executives of government and private sector. A copy will also be made available to the public through the NEDA regional office website.
The regional plan is considered as a “companion document” of the Philippines Development Plan for 2017 to 2022, or within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Prior to its endorsement by the Council, the draft RDP underwent a series of consultations with the regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), business groups, religious sectors, non-government organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders.
The RDP, which serves as the blueprint of the region’s development direction, is anchored on the Sustainable Development Goals, the Long-Term Vision of Filipinos or AmBisyon Natin 2040 and President Duterte’s 0+10 Point Socioeconomic Agenda.
The RDC, the region’s highest policy-making body approved the new RDP during its full council meeting on Dec. 20, 2016.
Under the plan, the region aims to attain 5.2 percent to 5.7 percent economic growth in 2017. For 2018 to 2022, the average target is 5.8 percent to 7 percent.
In 2015, the region posted a remarkable growth of 3.9 percent in the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) due to massive post-Yolanda reconstruction activities.
The 2015 performance is a “significant turnaround” after the region incurred a 2.4 percent contraction in 2014, largely due to destruction of the monster typhoon.
The region suffered a big drop in GRDP in 2012 at negative 6.8 percent after a minimal 2.1 percent increase in 2011. It was followed with a big leap to 4.6 percent in 2013 due to good economy before super typhoon Yolanda struck.