The Regional Development Council 4-B held its 50th Full Council meeting at the Romblon Convention Center in Odiongan, Romblon on 21 March 2015 (Saturday).

 The RDC passed a total of 44 resolutions. Thirty seven (37) of these resolutions endorsed the proposed and on-going programs, projects and activities of regional line agencies to their respective central offices for inclusion in the FY 2016 budget. Also endorsed were the port zone delineations of Roxas, Narra, and Bataraza Ports in Palawan to the Office of the President. Moreover, the RDC work program for 2015 and the strategic regional development agenda (SRDA) action plan themes were adopted. The Council also approved the resolution recommended by the Economic Development Committee (EDC) members creating a technical working group to spearhead the identification of the region’s best products. Lastly, the RDC passed a resolution requesting the Energy Regulatory Commission to fast track the approval of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ application for provisional authority to implement the Batangas – Mindoro Interconnection Project.

One of the agreements reached was the creation of a technical working group (TWG) to determine action on the request for implementation of infrastructure projects by local government units. The TWG shall be composed of DA, DBM, DILG, DPWH, DOT, DepEd and DOH.

Among the RDC Chairman’s instructions was for DOST, DPWH, and PPA to prepare proposals for projects on rural development, with DOST as the lead. Moreover, on the request of Romblon Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ROMELCO) for immediate issuance by the Energy Regulatory Commission of provisional authority for the operation of an interim power plant in Tablas Island, ROMELCO was advised to submit the necessary documents to the RDC secretariat.

With regard to the request for endorsement of the Batangas-Mindoro bridge project, the matter will be forwarded to the Infrastructure Development Committee of the RDC for further study. The representative from the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro was requested to submit the feasibility study or comprehensive project profile to the secretariat.

Aside from the RDC meeting, various activities were organized by the Provincial Government of Romblon for the RDC members. On March 20, the members visited areas which have potential to boost the tourism sector in the province such as the Looc Sanctuary and Fish Cages and Villa M, both in the Municipality of Looc, and Aglicay Beach Resort in the Municipality of Alcantara. The members also toured the Livestock Breeding Center and the newly upgraded Romblon Provincial Hospital, both in the Municipality of Odiongan.

On March 21, after the RDC meeting, the members explored the Marine Research and Breeding Center in Odiongan. The center was established under RA 9460 in 2007 to encourage the culture of marine species native to the province and thereby promote and attract investments in this field of economic endeavor.

The RDC activities culminated with a visit to Binucot Beach in the Municipality of Ferrol, targeted by Romblon LGU as among the potential prime tourism spots in the province.

The members travelled back to their official stations on March 22 either by ship or via Philippine Airlines, which had its maiden flight to Tablas on March 19 and will be regularly serving the Manila – Tablas route.