BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Regional Development Council (RDC) and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) met in Bontoc, Mountain Province on March 19 for its first quarter meeting of 2019. As customary in RDC meetings, the host province presents its local development concerns. Two of the primary concerns of the province are the weak internet connectivity and the lack of required training on water safety and sanitation for water sanitary personnel.

The weak internet connectivity has been a recurring concern not only in Mountain Province but the whole region. The RDC cites the mountainous terrain of the region as a limitation to the existing telecom towers for wireless internet. Also, market demand for internet connectivity is seen as low in the Cordillera due to its sparse population. However, connectivity through the internet is crucial in the region such as in times of disaster where roads may become inaccessible due to landslides. The RDC infrastructure committee was tasked to identify potential cells sites with DENR-CAR, in coordination with the two major telecommunications companies to improve the current connectivity concern.

Likewise, there has been a lack of required training on water safety and sanitation due to unavailability of the required DOH-accredited trainors. Therefore, a resolution was passed to request DOH Sec. Francisco Duque to coordinate with DOH-accredited trainors based in Manila to provide training services for sanitary personnel for all LGUs in the region.

Other concerns of the province include the high cost of Food and Drug Administration registration for home-based food processors, the lack of access to tourism sites, the lack of policemen in the province, the prominence of the province as a transit point for marijuana-related products, and the role of LGUs in the marijuana legalization bill.

The RDC will address these concerns throughout the 2nd quarter of 2019 until the next meeting in June.