By Shah Balaw-ing

On 25 November 2013, the Regional Development Council (RDC) full assembly will meet for the review and support of the updated Regional Development Plan (RDP) and Regional Development Investment Program (RDIP) 2014-2016.

The RDC adopted regional autonomy as the overarching goal of Cordillera regional developmentin 2006 and reformulated its vision as the premiere catalyst for achieving autonomy in April 2013.

In the updated regional plan, it reiterated the pursuit of the constitutional provision for establishing an autonomous Cordillera and as one of the development goals to fast track the socio-economic development of the region.                                                   

Among the priority list of programs and projects to achieve such development goals identified in the RDIP are as follows: the Social Preparation of CAR into an Autonomous Region (SPCAR), Cordillera Roads Improvement Project (CRIP), Traffic Management Study for Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT), Philippine Rural Development Program, Construction of Standard Factory Buildings, Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management Project (INREM), and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

While regional autonomy is particular to the region, there was also a conscious effort to link the RDP to the national plan. The updating of the RDP and RDIP was also aligned towards achieving societal goal of inclusive growth. Moreover, the updated RDP is made consistent with President Aquino’s social contract on the following key results areas on (1) transparent, accountable, and participatory governance; (2) poverty reduction and human development; (3) rapid, inclusive, and sustained economic growth; (4) just and lasting peace and the rule of law; and (5) climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Several consultations were spearheaded by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in consultation with regional line agencies, Local Government Units, private sector organizations, and state universities and colleges to update of the RDP and RDIP.

NEDA coordinated the Regional Planning Conference on 17 April 2013; the Regional Consultation on the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) Midterm Update on 22 April 2013; the RDP Writeshop on 5 June 2013; the Regional Consultation on the Draft RDP/RDIP/Results Matrices (RM) 2014-2016 on 2 October 2013; and the PDP-RDP Reconciliation on 23-25 October 2013.

The updated documents were separately reviewed and endorsed by the RDC sectoral committees. The RDC Executive Committee in a meeting last 18 November 2013 also approved the Regional Strategic Framework of the updated RDP.

It is expected that the RDP, RDIP, and RM will form part of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) after the approval of the President before the yearend.