The 75th MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC) Full Council meeting was held last June 4 virtually through Zoom platform.

RDC Chairperson and Romblon Governor Jose R. Riano presided over the meeting  attended by Presidential Adviser for Southern Tagalog Secretary Casimiro M. Ynares, Jr., Palawan Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez, Calapan City Mayor Arnan C. Panaligan, directors and representatives of regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), state universities and colleges (SUCs), and private sector representatives.

The approval of the 2020 MIMAROPA Regional Development Report (RDR)  was one of the highlights of the meeting  presented by Regional Director (RD)  Agustin C. Mendoza of the NEDA Regional Office (NRO) in MIMAROPA. The report  serves as an annual assessment of the region’s socioeconomic performance with reference to MIMAROPA Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022 Midterm Update Results Matrix. The region’s performance was assessed relative to the implementation of Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan for COVID-19, Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, Bayanihan 2, Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) program, and End Local Communist Armed Conflict, all  under the whole-of-nation approach.

The MIMAROPA RDC welcomed its new Vice Chairperson RD Mendoza. In his message,  Mendoza emphasized that the natural resources and tourism sector of the region should be seen as silver linings of the current situation. Such can be used as opportunities to improve the region’s plans and programs to be able to put the region in the investment map of the country to fulfill its vision as the “Destination of Choice.”

Meanwhile, in his message, Governor Riano encouraged all members to continue their perseverance and innovativeness in boosting the regional economy despite challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, declined economic performance, and devastating typhoons. He also enjoined everyone to continue pursuing the long term vision for a Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na Buhay for all MIMAROPAns.

Department of Energy (DOE)  Undersecretary Alexander S. Lopez, on the other hand, read Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi’s message condemning the ambush incident by the communist terrorist groups (CTGs) which claimed three lives and left 11 uniformed personnel wounded in Occidental Mindoro. He inspired the Council members to be collaborative with one another in giving communities hope despite the unfortunate circumstances along with the adverse effects of the ongoing pandemic to the regional economy. He also urged everyone to choose progress over conflict, peace over terror, and trust over fear.

Morever, the Council also approved/endorsed the following: (a) support to election reforms filed in the 18th Congress of the Philippines; (b) Kalayaan Island Group Strategic Development Plan; (c) port zone delineation of Coron and El Nido; (d) gender and development (GAD)  mechanisms profiling and inventory of GAD policies forms; (e) Commission on Higher Education priority courses in MIMAROPA; (f) Innovation in Philippine Technical Vocation Education and Training System Project of  the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; (g) Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project; and (h) support to Regional Population Executive Board Resolution Nos. 01 and 02, s. 2021.

The members were also  informed on the 2020 economic performance of the region in terms of gross regional domestic product and gross regional expenditures, status of implementation of the Philippine Identification System Act, COVID-19 response and vaccination program situationer, nationally determined contributions, research and development accomplishments and updates on the status of research topics, regional economic situationer, project monitoring report, and status of RDC endorsed projects.

The 76th RDC Full Council meeting will be held on September 3, 2021.