The Regional Development Council (RDC) in MIMAROPA conducted a workshop on April 17-18 at Golden Phoenix Hotel, Pasay City, to identify the priority research areas for inclusion in the MIMAROPA Regional Research and Development (R&D) Agenda 2018-2022. Representatives from various regional line agencies, local government units, state universities and colleges, and private sector organizations in the region participated in the activity. The NEDA Regional Office and Department of Science and Technology in MIMAROPA jointly facilitated the workshop.

In his welcome remarks, Regional Director (RD) Raul S. Anlocotan of NEDA MIMAROPA emphasized the need to craft the R&D Agenda anchored on the current regional plan.  He explained that the regional planning process follows a logical flow which starts with the formulation of objectives, strategies and policies in the RDP, followed by the results matrices.

He also informed the group about the formulation of the regional statistical development plan which is also anchored on the RDP.  The next stage is the formulation of the R&D Agenda supportive of regional priorities as enunciated in the RDP.

In his message, Gov. Mario Gene J. Mendiola of Occidental Mindoro expressed his appreciation to RDC for formulating the R&D Agenda.  He said this activity will  greatly benefit his province. He also requested the inclusion of some R&D concerns for the province such as environmental protection (gravel production), livelihood projects for the Indigenous Peoples (Mindoro jade industry), biodiversity conservation programs (Tamaraw), and salt production (Occidental Mindoro being the second largest producer in the country), among others.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Antonio Parlade, Jr. of the Philippine Army  expressed his appreciation  for  involving the Army in the workshop.  He also  said that peace and order are important components of the region’s development.

Based on the strategies indicated under the MIMAROPA Regional Development Plan 2017-2022, research areas and topics were identified and ranked according to priority needs of the region using an agreed set of criteria. More than 500 research topics were identified to be prioritized during the workshop. Majority of the  topics were proposed for agriculture, environment, industry, health and nutrition.

NEDA MIMAROPA Assistant RD Susan A. Sumbeling concluded the workshop by presenting the proposed next steps that  include the conduct of a  funders’ forum, and publication of the MIMAROPA Regional R&D Agenda by the 4th quarter of 2018. She also thanked the participants for attending the event.

The R&D Agenda will be presented for approval to the RDC MIMAROPA during its 3rdquarter meeting to be held in  Marinduque.