Newly elected House representatives and local chief executives of the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) provided insights and renewed their commitment to the region’s development thrusts and advocacies during the Council’s third quarter meeting on September 8, 2022.
They expressed the need for regional equity in terms of budget allocation and approval of project proposals. Apayao Gov. Elias C. Bulut, Jr. expressed hope for all provinces to be given the equal chance to develop in the next six years. Kalinga Gov. James S. Edduba emphasized the importance of equity even in the region’s aspiration for autonomy.
On proposed infrastructure projects, Kalinga Congressman Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang reminded that resolutions endorsing road and other infra projects should be reviewed at the Committee level before these go to the RDC and insinuated a programmatic approach in developing projects.
Governor Bulut suggested that proposed infra projects for endorsement by the Council should be delineated from those endorsed by the Regional Peace and Order Council, noting the importance of aligning proposed projects to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) program and priorities.
On the Council’s House Rules, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong moved for the inclusion of the three allowable time for interventions or comments from members during meetings, which was approved.
On a lighter note, Apayao Rep. Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang and Kalinga Rep. Mangaoang expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the development discussions at the regional level through the Council.
Recognizing the Council’s vital role in development, Benguet Gov. Melchor D. Diclas emphasized that the RDC serves as a venue for the provinces to raise their needs and concerns.
Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. and Mayor Magalong committed their support to the new Council administration. On this note, Ifugao Gov. Jerry U. Dalipog shared the excitement on the nomination of the Chair and Co-Chair. Noting the presence of most of the officials, he is hopeful that the succeeding meeting attendance will be sustained.
Atty. Fritz Turqueza, representing Gov. Dominic B. Valera, expressed gratitude to all who helped in the recovery efforts of the province from the recent earthquake. Abra was the center of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake which hit the region on July 27.
The CAR representatives serve as the Advisory Committee of the RDC as mandated by Executive Order 325, and as members starting 2019. Together with identified local chief executives, they compose one-third of the Full Council.