The MIMAROPA Regional Development Council (RDC) conducted the Kapihan at Kamustahan sa MIMAROPA on September 20, 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon  through  Zoom and Facebook Live. The event  is a kick-off activity of the MIMAROPA RDC Week celebration with the theme, “MIMAROPA RDC Through the Years: Providing Service Excellence for a More Participative, Sustainable, and Resilient Future.” 

The activity was participated in by MIMAROPA RDC officers and members who shared their thoughts and experiences over a cup of coffee regarding the significance of the Council in regional development throughout the years.

​​​​​​​National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, in a video message, congratulated the RDCs and recognized their importance in the socioeconomic development of the country. He mentioned that NEDA recognizes the need for more equitable allocation of resources across regions to drive regional growth and development and the country’s economic recovery.

“Hence, it is vital for RDCs to exercise their functions effectively and efficiently to determine which programs and projects respond to the needs of the regions and which should get priority funding from the government,” said Secretary Chua.

Secretary Chua said that the role of RDC in steering regional development is crucial with the start of the full devolution of government functions in 2022. “The newly created Regional Committee on Devolution will lead these efforts, in coordination with the other RDC sectoral committees. This exercise and other initiatives will help strengthen the linkage between the government’s planning and budgeting process and promote a more equitable regional allocation of the national budget,” he added further.

​​​​​​​RDC Chairperson Jose R. Riano who is also Governor of Romblon, served as one of the main speakers of the event. “In terms of governance, the MIMAROPA RDC prides itself in having private sector representatives or PSRs as chairpersons of its sectoral committees. Since the inclusion of PSRs in the RDC, it solidified the partnership between the private sector and the government,” said Governor Riano.

Regional Director (RD) Agustin C. Mendoza of the NEDA Regional Office in MIMAROPA presented agglomeration, connectivity, and resiliency strategies to create a viable integrated economies in the future while OIC ARD Bernardino A. Atienza, Jr. shared insights on the RDC and the local development councils to improve their relationship and make them more participatory in local planning and decision-making.

Meanwhile, Economic Development Committee Chairperson Rodne R. Galicha  recalled instances that the MIMAROPA RDC provided an avenue for sustainable development. He urged the members to continue on being champions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

RD  Wilhelm M. Suyko of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) MIMAROPA emphasized the localization efforts of the RDC and recommended the organization of agency heads of regional government offices. Executive Director Atty. Jose Teodoro S. Matta of the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development, mentioned that the RDC should continue promoting provincial economies and green projects and recognizing the important roles of the private sector in pushing for the attainment of the SDGs.

​​​​​​​Social Development Committee Chairperson Marvi R. Trudeau, Regional Director Arthur D. Pascual of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) MIMAROPA, and RD Joel B. Valera of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) MIMAROPA provided insights on how MIMAROPA RDC can  advocate for solutions on various sectoral concerns with resiliency as an underlying principle. They also cited ways on how the Council can improve in making decisions that promote resiliency.

“Our speakers and even some of the members have affirmed how RDC continuously provides service excellence in order to increase participation, attain sustainability, and ensure resiliency of MIMAROPA Region. RDC MIMAROPA remains to be a responsive and effective forum that coordinates and sets the direction for economic and social development initiatives in the region,” RD Mendoza said in his closing message.

​​​​​​​Under  Presidential Proclamation 1164, s. 1998, the RDC Week is celebrated every fourth week of September in commemoration of the birth of the RDCs as the key structure for regional planning and for integrated local planning and programming. The MIMAROPA RDC has lined up various activities for the RDC week from September 20 to 24.