The first quarter MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting was held last March 05 virtually through Zoom.

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RDC Chairperson and Romblon Governor Jose R. Riano presided over the meeting, which was attended by Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito A. Dolor, Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasquez, Jr., Palawan Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez, city and municipal mayors, state universities and colleges, directors and representatives of regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), and private sectors representatives.

In his opening message, Gov. Riano welcomed and thanked all the participants for attending the meeting and commended everyone in fulfilling their roles as public servants amidst the crisis brought by the pandemic and devastating typhoons that hit the region in 2020.  He encouraged everyone to exercise their significant role in the development of the region with due diligence.

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Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Alexander S. Lopez represented MIMAROPA Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security and DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi. Usec. Lopez read Secretary Cusi’s message commending MIMAROPA for doing great despite the challenges and setbacks in 2020. He appreciated the initiative of the MIMAROPA RDC in considering the social development goals 2030, Ambisyon Natin 2040, and the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 in the formulation of plans to be implemented in the region.

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Moreover, Presidential Adviser for Southern Tagalog Secretary Casimiro M. Ynares, Jr. emphasized the need for proposals that will fast-track infrastructures and increase economic performance of the region. He also expressed his support to the endeavors of the MIMAROPA RDC together with the President towards development of all the regions in the country.

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The approval of the MIMAROPA Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (RRP) for areas affected by Typhoon Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses was one of the highlights of the meetings. The RRP was presented by the RDC Vice-Chairperson and NEDA MIMAROPA Regional Director Susan A. Sumbeling. The plan will serve as guide for the restoration livelihood and living conditions, rehabilitation and improvement of facilities, and organizational capacities of affected communities with reduced disaster risk in accordance to “building back better principle”. The proposed programs, projects, and activities for the implementation of the MIMAROPA RRP for areas affected by Typhoon Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses in the region amounted to ₱11.98 billion.

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Meanwhile, the MIMAROPA RDC endorsed the FY 2022 proposed programs, activities, and projects (PAPs) of 45 MIMAROPA Agency Regional Offices (AROs) and six SUCs amounting to ₱160.512 billion: a) ₱1.52 billion under the development administration sector; b) ₱12.24 billion under the economic development sector; c) ₱127.64 billion under the infrastructure development sector; and d) ₱19.11 billion under the social development sector.

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The Council also approved/endorsed the following: 1) creation of MARINA MIMAROPA Regional Office; 2) La Niña Action Plan; 3) conduct of orientation on the full devolution of functions per Mandanas-Garcia Case Ruling; 4) Marinduque economic development projects; 5) Marinduque infrastructure development projects; 6) guidelines on the certification of MIMAROPA Regional Pool of GAD Resource Persons (RPGRP); 7) confirmation of RGADC Chair/Co-Chair; 8) CY 2021 RDC work program; 9) RDC-PSR National Convention 2021; and 10) confirmation of RDC ExCom Resolution No. 3-37 s. 2021.

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The members were briefed on the daily COVID-19 Surveillance Update. DOH MIMAROPA Regional Director Mario S. Baquilod reported that as of March 03, the region has a total of 43 COVID-19 active cases. Oriental Mindoro recorded the highest number of cases with 20 active cases. This was followed by Romblon with eight active cases and Occidental Mindoro with seven active cases.  The provinces of Marinduque and Palawan each recorded four active cases.  Dir. Baquilod also provided update on the on-going delivery of vaccines for the front liners in the five provinces of the region.

The participants were also informed on the following: 1) DOE-DILG JMC 2020-01; 2) featured technology of MIMAROPA SUCs; 3) regional economic situationer; 4) RDC CY 2020 accomplishment report; 5) project monitoring report; 6) status of RDC endorsed projects; and 7) CY2020 RDC summary of attendance.

The second quarter RDC Full Council meeting will be held on June 04.