The 76th MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC) Full Council meeting was held last September 3 virtually through Zoom.  RDC Chairperson and Romblon Governor Jose R. Riano presided over the meeting.

The presentation of the salient features of implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Executive Order (EO) 138, s. 2021 or the “Full Devolution of Certain Functions of the Executive Branch to Local Governments, Creation of a Committee on Devolution (ComDev), and For Other Purposes” was one of the highlights of the meeting, presented by Director Ma. Angelita C. Cells of the Department of Budget and Management MIMAROPA. The implementation of EO 138 ensures that the policy of decentralization stipulated in the Constitution and other relevant laws and the impact of Mandanas Ruling will be carried out systematically and efficiently.

Section 9 of the IRR of EO 138 provides the creation of the Regional Sub-Committees of the ComDev or Regional ComDev, which will serve as counterparts of the ComDev at the regional level. The Regional ComDev shall oversee overall efforts of local government units (LGUs) and concerned national government agencies (NGAs) relative to the implementation of EO 138. To maximize the link and complementation of efforts with the RDC, the Regional ComDev shall be constituted as a special committee under the RDC.

The meeting was attended by Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasco Jr., Corcuera Mayor Elmer M. Fruelda, MIMAROPA Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) Representative General Rodolfo Magtibay, Office of the Presidential Adviser for Southern Tagalog (OPAST) Head Executive Assistant Efren Echavia, directors and representatives of regional line agencies (RLAs), LGUs, state universities and colleges (SUCs), and private sector representatives.

​​​​​​​In his message, Governor Riano emphasized the importance of working in solidarity and cooperation in tackling the current challenges and threat of COVID-19 pandemic, natural calamities, and disasters.  He enjoined all member agencies to remain resilient and continue exploring opportunities for regional development, particularly in health and economic sectors to contribute to the realization of MIMAROPA’s development vision. He also hope that with renewed courage and strength coupled with collective initiatives and efforts, the remaining months of the year will offer better prospects for all MIMAROPAns.

Meanwhile, Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasco emphasized that in the advent of the implementation of EO 138, s. 2021, the need for coordination and collaboration among NGAs, LGUs, and private sectors is more prominent. To ensure smooth and progressive operationalization of full devolution of functions, services, and facilities to the LGUs, it is necessary to lay down the implementation strategies and phasing of the devolution transition in the plans of NGAs and LGUs.

​​​​​​​The Council also approved/endorsed the following: (a) Oriental Mindoro tourism-related infrastructure projects (Naujan Lake Wetland Center and Liwasan ng Mamamayan); (b) Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project; (c) farm to market roads in Corcuera, Romblon; (d) retailing liquid fuels in MIMAROPA; (e) institutionalization of the Revitalized Barangay Police Program; (f) proposed discontinuance of allocating centrally managed items in the preparation of the National Expenditure Program; (g) House Bill (HB) 4689: Local Population Development Act of 2016; (h) Commission on Population and Development or POPCOM’s Demographic Vulnerability Tool on Population Density to Mitigate the Continued Impact of the Pandemic and in Aid of Policy Development by LGU in Planning for Recovery Programs; (i) HB 3885: Provincial Science and Technology Office Bill and HB 4581: Science for Change Program Bill; (j) creation, strengthening and institutionalization of Science, Technology, and Innovation Committee in the LGUs  in MIMAROPA; (k) submission of list of research and development (R&D) programs, projects, and activities of R&D institutions and certificate of compliance and conformity to respective R&D agenda, MIMAROPA R&D Agenda, Harmonized National R&D Agenda, Regional Development Plan, and Sustainable Development Goal; (l) creation of the Screening Committee for the Certification of MIMAROPA Regional Pool of Gender and Development Resource Persons (RPGRP) and confirmation of the chairperson and members of the Screening Committee; (m) Regional Gender and Development (RGADC) members; (n) membership of National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) MIMAROPA to the Economic Development Committee (EDC); and (o) RDC ExeCom Resolution 4-38, s. 2021, Endorsing the MIMAROPA Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan.

The members were also informed on the following: (a) MIMAROPA Provincial Energy Plans; (b) COVID-19 Response and Situationer; (c) Strong Republic Nautical Highway Resolution 01 and 02, s. 2021; (d) Regional Economic Situationer; (e) Project Monitoring Reports; and (f) RDC Week Celebration.

The 77th RDC Full Council meeting will be held on December 3, 2021.