The Advisory Committee (AdCom) of the MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC) successfully conducted an unprecedented problem-solving session with selected Cabinet Secretaries on March 19, 2014 at the Astoria Plaza in Ortigas Business District, Pasig City. The special meeting was called to address personnel complementation issues of key MIMAROPA Regional Line Agencies (RLAs) which have a critical role in the development endeavours of the RDC, particularly the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Health (DOH).
Five out of seven Department Secretaries responded to the RDC AdCom’s invitation despite the short notice: Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad, as the resource person, Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, and Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman. Also present were Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Blesila Lantayona, and Department of Science and Technology Assistant Secretary Marilou Orijola.
Chaired by Cong. Eleandro Jesus F. Madrona of the Province of Romblon, the RDC AdCom members present during the meeting were Cong. Josephine R. Sato of Occidental Mindoro, Cong. Paulino Salvador C. Leachon of Oriental Mindoro-1st District, Cong. Reynaldo V. Umali of Oriental Mindoro-2nd District, Cong. Regina O. Reyes of Marinduque, Cong. Douglas S. Hagedorn (represented by Mr. Diogenes S. Osabel), Gov. Eduardo C. Firmalo of Romblon, Gov. Alfonso V. Umali, Jr. of Oriental Mindoro, Gov. Carmencita O. Reyes of Marinduque, Gov. Jose C. Alvarez of Palawan, and Gov. Mario Gene J. Mendiola of Occidental Mindoro.
The major agreements forged during the meeting were:
- DBM committed to fast track the issuance of the Notice of Organization, Staffing and Compensation Action (NOSCA) for MIMAROPA RLAs with approved rationalization plans (instead of issuing the NOSCA by agency after all units have complied with the requirements).
- DBM is open to support MIMAROPA’s priority programs/projects/activities and the personnel complement required to for efficient implementation to generate outcomes along social protection and social services, public/basic education, public health, employment and livelihood, and infrastructure programs.
- The AdCom shall lead the identification of the priority programs/projects/activities of the Region for the approval of the RDC before the issuance of the 2016 National Budget Call to ensure that such priorities are included in the geographic focus spelled out in the Budget Call for 2016 and onwards as a way of ensuring that MIMAROPA priorities are funded in the National Expenditure Program (NEP).
On the recommendation of DBM Secretary Abad, the MIMAROPA RDC AdCom shall submit a proposal for strengthening the plantilla of key agencies with clear justification in terms of outputs and outcomes. NEDA-MIMAROPA and DBM-MIMAROPA shall jointly facilitate the formulation of the proposal on March 27 by the following RLAs: BFAR, DOH, NNC, DSWD, and DOST.
The success of the special meeting demonstrates the value of the political unity between and among the local chief executives and the congressional district representatives of MIMAROPA. Barely a week since its organization on March 11, 2014, the Advisory Committee composed of the seven out of eight congress representatives and the five governors and two city mayors of the Region, has already achieved its first milestone. This augurs brightly for MIMAROPA – The Destination of Choice.