The NEDA  Regional Office in MIMAROPA conducted the Updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 Virtual Caravan for the region with the theme “Tayo Na! Bumangon para sa Ambisyon!” through  Zoom and Facebook Live on April 23.

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The nationwide virtual caravan aimed to cascade and explain to the Filipino people the updated PDP for them to understand that there is indeed a plan that takes account of both medium-term needs and long-term aspirations amid the pandemic and other challenges the country faces. The MIMAROPA leg of the caravan also provided an opportunity to discuss the Regional Development Plan (RDP).

In her opening message, Regional Director (RD) Susan A. Sumbeling of NRO MIMAROPA emphasized the importance of the activity in the development of the country as well as the MIMAROPA region. She mentioned that these development plans are a whole-of-society approach for economic recovery and getting the country back on track toward achieving our vision for every Filipino.

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Through a recorded message, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua emphasized  how COVID-19 temporarily disrupted the country’s growth momentum and development trajectory. According to the Secretary, the PDP was updated to better respond to the challenges brought about by the impact of the pandemic. He expressed his hope that the virtual caravan would be a venue to discuss and listen to ideas and solutions on how to build a healthy and resilient Philippines.

cara3In the first part of the caravan, NEDA Central Office’s Development Information Staff Director Nerrisa T. Esguerra, Department of Finance Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Paola A. Alvarez, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Rolando U. Toledo discussed the Ambisyon Natin 2040, which represents the collective long-term vision and aspirations of the Filipino people for themselves and for the country in the next 25 years. Director Esguerra explained that Ambisyon Natin 2040 is like a destination while the PDP is like a roadmap showing the means to get there. Asec Alvarez, meanwhile, focused on financial option for climate and sustainability development projects  while Asec Toledo detailed the expense items and spending priorities for fiscal year (FY)  2021 National Budget and emphasized how DBM contributes to accelerate economic growth to realize the vision.

cara4The Updated PDP 2017-2022 was presented by NEDA Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning Carlos Bernardo O. Abad Santos, highlighting the directive for the next two years which are the “new normal” delivery of services, building the country’s resilience, enactment of remaining reforms, and keeping the long view for a strongly rooted, comfortable, and secure life for every Filipino. He also underscored how the updated PDP responds to the emergence of new threats to the country’s economic growth and recovery.

cara5As for the MIMAROPA’s RDP 2017-2022 Midterm Update, the plan tailor-fit for the region, RD Sumbeling discussed the major accomplishments, challenges and strategic thrusts, and key reforms and programs under the three pillars of the plan. She also enumerated the priority policies and strategies under the MIMAROPA Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan for COVID-19.

The different sectoral committees of the Regional Development Council were also represented by Department of Public Works and Highways Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Arthur D. Pascual, Department of Social Welfare and Development ARD Purificacion R. Arriola, and Department of the Interior and Local Government ARD Rey S. Maranan of MIMAROPA. Private Sector Representative (PSR) Mr. Rodne Galicha of Bayay Sibuyanon, Inc., served as a panel member to give insights on how private sector would help in the implementation of the development plans.

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Among the concerns raised by the participants during the sessions were quality of education upon the realization of the Ambisyon 2040, the resilience of the Filipino amid the occurrence of natural disaster, status of implementation of the national ID system, delivery of social services to the poorest of the poor, immediate response of the local government in time of crisis and pandemic and transparency on the local government spending.

In the last part of the activity, representatives from business, civil society, local government, and academe expressed their declaration of support to the updated PDP 2017-2022 through recorded videos. They were Mr. Joel de Veyra of Puerto Galera Business and Tourism Establishments Association; Mr. Conrado David of El Nido Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Ms. Juvelyn V. Gumal-in of Pampamayanang Mangyan Ugnayan, Inc.; Ms. Grace Diamante of Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc.; Mr. James Marty Lim of Association of Barangay Councils of Marinduque; Dr. Merian Mani of Romblon State University; and Fr. Renato A. Tampol, SVD, of the Divine Word College of San Jose.

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In his closing message, OIC-ARD Bernardino A. Atienza, Jr. of NRO  MIMAROPA, thanked the speakers, panelists, and representatives who expressed their support to the updated PDP and the participants from Zoom and Facebook Live for their participation in the activity. He expressed his hope that all of them will continue working together to promote and advocate the updated PDP as well as the Ambisyon Natin 2040.