BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC) adopted the Cordillera Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 Midterm Update which details the region’s strategic thrusts for 2020-2022 on November 29, 2019. The Regional Plan is aligned with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 which serves as the current administration’s strategy for national development anchored on enhancing social fabric (malasakit), reducing inequality (pagbabago), and increasing growth potential (patuloy na pag-unlad).

RDC Vice-Chair and NEDA-CAR Regional Director Milagros Rimando presented the highlights of the plan and reported on the steady growth rate of the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) at an average of 9.8% from 2017 to 2018. Rimando noted that this is higher than the national average at 6.5%. Referring to the 1st-semester comparative poverty incidence in 2015 and 2018, NEDA-CAR reported that the percentage of Cordillerans living in poverty dropped from 29% to 17.9%.

Further, it was reported that while the industries and services sector are growing and contributing to the regional economy, there is a need to increase output and labor productivity in the agriculture sector. One primary strategy is adopting the value chain approach to modernize the agriculture sector. The Plan further revealed the importance of increasing research & development and science & technology investments.

The recognition of CAR Local Government Units through awards garnered on good governance, good financial housekeeping, and competitiveness signifies improved efficiency in government services. In line with the President’s thrust to bring government services closer to the people, the RDP focuses on highlighting the region’s unique culture and traditions and empowering its various indigenous peoples through self-determination. Regional autonomy would allow Cordillerans to formulate its own policies responsive to its unique culture, traditions and terrain.

NEDA-CAR consolidated the inputs and updates through various regional consultations. It aims to release the updated Plan in 2020.