BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council welcomed its new members from the different line agencies, local government units, and the private sector during the joint RDC-RPOC meeting on August 8. This RDC-RPOC meeting saw its highest attendance of top local chief executives of the region in recent memory. All six Cordillera provincial governors and the mayor of the Chartered City of Baguio attended.  RDC Vice-Chair and NEDA-CAR Regional Director Milagros Rimando also underscored the significance of having three of the seven Cordillera Congressmen during the meeting as Congressmen Joseph Bernos of Abra, Solomon Chungalao of Ifugao, and Mark Go of Baguio City also attended the meeting. Among the local chief executives, Governors Melchor Diclas of Benguet and Jerry Dalipog of Ifugao and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong are new to the RDC.

New members also include the Private Sector Representatives (PSRs). Host City Mayor Benjamin Magalong inducted the 12 newly-elected PSRs who will serve a 3-year term with the RDC. As representatives of the private sector, they are expected to attend and participate in RDC meetings as well as meetings of sectoral committees on development administration, social development, infrastructure development, economic development, watershed and environmental management, and indigenous peoples’ concerns. The newly-elected PSRs represent these aforementioned sectors and the labor sector as well as the seven major geographic areas of the Cordillera.

The RDC members also nominated candidates for RDC Chairperson and Co-Chairperson.  These are: Governors Jocelyn Bernos of Abra, Eleanor Bulut-Begtang of Apayao, Melchor Diclas of Benguet, Bonifacio Lacwasan of Mountain Province, Ferdinand Tubban of Kalinga, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and PSRs Edna Tabanda of Benguet and Philip Tingonong of Abra. Mayor Magalong was also the lone nominee for RPOC Chairman.

The RDC is the highest policy-making body in the region and sets the direction of all economic and social development efforts in the region. It serves as a forum where local efforts can be related and integrated with national development activities.