BAGUIO CITY—Newly-appointed Regional Development Council (RDC) Chairman Eustaquio Bersamin wants results, not always meetings.

The Governor of Abra, who attended his first RDC Executive Committee (ExCom) meeting on August 13 here, said that even if RDC is a policy-making body, it should also do things.

The Declaration of Principles on Environmental Governance (DPEG) as well as the Social Preparation of CAR into an Autonomous Region (SPCAR) were discussed during the said meeting.

DPEG involves a set of principles and policy options on environmental governance in the region for sustainable development and poverty reduction. It shall serve as a guide for policy makers and stakeholders on issues concerning mining, urban growth, tourism, water resources and upland agriculture, especially since the region is the Watershed Cradle of the Northern Philippines and it aspires to be the model of a sustainable ecosystem.

DPEG was already endorsed by the ExCom to the Full Council but it failed to get an action during the second quarter Full Council meeting last July in Abra. The Committee then agreed to send the copies of DPEG to the Full Council members and ask their approval or disapproval on the matter, instead of waiting for the quarterly meeting of the Council on September.

On SPCAR projects, Dr. Gil Bautista noted that the unreleased funds for the LGU-led grassroots IEC projects in 2012 will not be released anymore because of the zero-based budgeting. DBM Regional Director Liza Fangsilat added that continuing appropriations are good up to one year only. Moreover, the Committee then underscored that city and provincial LGUs and other partners must be liquidate and close their 2012 IEC projects because the projects already ended in 2013.

As the highest policy-making institution in the region, the RDC is the primary institution that sets the direction of economic and social development of the region and where regional development efforts are coordinated.

NEDA-CAR, RDC’s secretariat, will convene the RDC Full Council meeting on September in Baguio City.



by Christine Mamuyac, SPCAR