BAGUIO CITY – The National Housing Agency (NHA) through NEDA-CAR announced the granting of housing assistance to victims of typhoon Pepeng in Itogon, Benguet and Tadian, Mountain Province during the 4th quarter Regional Social Development Committee (RSDC) meeting last December 12 at the DOH-CAR Training Center in Baguio. NEDA-CAR presented the Housing sub-committee report and highlighted that the several residents of municipalities of Itogon, Benguet and Tadian, Mountain Province who were devastated by typhoon Pepeng years ago have yet to receive their housing benefits from National Housing Authority (NHA) since their respective lands are still considered forest areas under PD 705. The NHA Central Office had not been able to grant the residents housing until 2018. NHA is finally able to provide housing to these residents due to a change in NHA policy.

Later, DOH-CAR Regional Director and RSDC Vice-Chair Amelita Pangilinan in the Social Development Committee National-Regional Consultative Meeting on November 20-21, 2018, shared that she enumerated the regional issues and concerns and shared that CAR is exempted in the national bidding of conduits for the Unconditional Cash Transfers through Landbank. However, DSWD added that conduits will not be necessary because of the introduction of cash cards in 2019. Dir. Pangilinan also said that there is a need to educate adolescents about the implications of sexual acts. The Comprehensive Sexuality education will launch next year starting with sex ed with preteens.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) also reported the National Demographic and Health Survey 2017. CAR had the lowest teen pregnancy rate among all regions at 4% with Davao Region being the highest at 18%. Because of this, DOH reiterated the use of condoms to prevent the transfer of sexually transmitted diseases.

Members of the RSDC include the DSWD as the chair, DOH as vice chair, NEDA as the secretariat, PSA, NHA, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), National Nutrition Council (NNC), among others. These regional line agencies are in charge of ensuring the implementation of social services in the region such as health, education, housing, etc.  The RSDC addresses regional issues in health, welfare, education, and housing.