The MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC) was adopted as the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Regional Council during its Full Council meeting held on September 4, virtually through Zoom.

The adoption of the RDC was one of the highlights of the meeting, which also included the creation of the Special BP2  Committee and BP2  Communication Group.

Ar.Marissa B. Maniquis of the National Housing Authority presented the salient features of the Implementing Guidelines of Executive Order    No. 114. The BP2  Program was institutionalized to ensure balanced regional development and equitable distribution of wealth, resources, and opportunities through policies and programs that boost countryside development and inclusive growth, provide adequate social services, and promote full employment, industrialization, and improved quality of life in rural areas.

RDC Chairperson and Romblon Governor Jose R. Riano presided over the meeting which was attended by Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr.; Palawan Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez; President of League of Municipalities and Paluan, Occidental Mindoro Mayor Carl Michael M. Pangilinan; Torrijos, Marinduque Mayor Lorna Q. Velasco; Boac, Marinduque Mayor Armi DC Carrion; directors and representatives of regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), state universities and colleges (SUCs); and private sector representatives.

In his message, Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. commended all RLAs for their continuous efforts and initiatives to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its impact. He encouraged everyone to stay healthy and be cautious during this time of pandemic.

Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Alexander S. Lopez represented Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security and Department of Energy  Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi. He  read Secretary Cusi’s message emphasizing that with the recent easing of quarantine restrictions in most provinces and municipalities, development prospective should be shifted to the rural provinces where efforts to build sustainable and resilient societies should be advocated to eliminate poverty and augment shared prosperity.

Meanwhile, the MIMAROPA RDC approved the updated MIMAROPA Regional Development Investment Program (RDIP) 2017-2022 with total investment requirements amounting to PhP501.28 billion. This consisted of the following: (a) PhP7.19 billion under the development administration sector; (b) PhP54.30 billion under the economic development sector; (c) PhP273.18 billion under the infrastructure development sector; and (d) PhP166.61 billion under the social development sector.

The Council also approved/endorsed the following: (a) 2019 MIMAROPA Regional Development Report; (b) creation of the Special Regional Sub-Committee on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SDG technical working groups; (c) Marinduque economic and infrastructure development projects; (d) DPWH road design standard; (e) RNC Resolution No. 1; (f) confirmation of  Regional Gender and Development Committee chairperson; (g) confirmation of Palawan Council for Sustainable Development  as Economic Development Committee regular member; and (h) confirmation of RDC Executive Committee resolutions.

The RDC members were also  briefed and updated on the following: (a) COVID-19 situational report; (b) opening of classes; (c) 2020 Census of Population and Housing; (d) updates on MIMAROPA internet connectivity; (e) status of affected business establishments and workers due to COVID-19; (f) enhanced New Generation Currency Banknotes; (g) featured technology of MIMAROPA SUCs; (h) regional economic situationer; (i) project monitoring reports; and (j) status of RDC endorsed projects.