RDC-6 push major projects in Malacañang meeting

Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez (Glazyl Y. Masculino Photo)

The Regional Development Council (RDC) Chairpersons, including Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez, convened with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at Malacañang on April 30 to discuss initiatives that align with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028. The meeting, orchestrated by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), focused on enhancing regional development and investments.

NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan emphasized the significant support from the President, which he noted could “open up significant opportunities for strategic prioritization of regional investments and budget allocation.”

Balisacan highlighted the critical role RDCs play in bridging the gap between national agencies and local government units, steering socio-economic development across various regions of the country.

In the meeting, Mayor Benitez proposed three significant projects for Western Visayas, aimed at boosting the region’s infrastructure and economic growth. These include the construction of the Bacolod Coastal Road, regional warehouses in Cadiz City, Roxas City, and Pototan, and the development of a cruise ship hub in Boracay. These projects are designed to prepare for the anticipated Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridge and ensure quick emergency responses.

During the discussions, the RDCs proposed the issuance of an executive order to bolster their mandate. This order would strengthen their involvement in formulating regional development plans, reviewing agency budgets, monitoring project implementations, and addressing bottlenecks. This amendment is intended to address perceived weaknesses in the RDCs’ operations, such as their limited presence in local government units, restricted influence over funding for regional programs, and lack of operational budget.

Secretary Balisacan also noted that the proposed executive order would complement NEDA’s ongoing regional development efforts. These include Regional-National Investment Programming dialogues, capacity-building activities for monitoring and evaluation, and implementing full devolution initiatives.

The RDC chairpersons also discussed their proposed priority programs and projects for inclusion in the 2025 and 2026 budgets of the concerned implementing agencies.

With these initiatives, Balisacan expressed optimism about the brighter economic prospects and the enhanced effectiveness of the RDCs as the highest policymaking and coordinating bodies in the regions.

The meeting underscored the RDC’s role as a vital institution in setting the direction of all economic and social development efforts within the regions, harmonizing local efforts with national development activities.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here