The Regional Development Council (RDC) VI convened for its third quarter meeting on September 20, 2018 at the Hall of Governors, Capiz Provincial Capitol in Roxas City hosted by the provincial government.  Forty-nine out of 72 members were present.

In her welcome address, RDC-VI Chairperson Rhodora J. Cadiao, Governor of Antique, shared the agreements made during the recent NEDA Board – Regional Development Committee (RDCom) meeting held on September 3, 2018 which was attended by Secretary Benjamin Diokno.  She highlighted the need for all government entities to be ready with the cash-based budgeting starting with earlier procurement for capital outlay projects and equipment this year for those that are already included in the 2019 National Expenditure Program.  All RLAs and LGUs must start planning and prioritizing its projects thru the investment programming process in preparation for the 2020 Budget Call.  Finally, she relayed that the implementation of the recent SC ruling on the IRA may not be within the term of President Duterte given the huge fiscal requirements of infrastructure projects until 2022.  She cautioned the LGUs not to entertain negotiations with financial institutions that are beyond the LGU’s present IRA capacity.

Provincial Administrator Michelle del Rosario welcomed the RDC-VI officers and members in behalf of Capiz Governor Antonio A. del Rosario and shared the development priorities of their province.

PSR Febie Ibojos discussed the results of the meeting among RDC private sector representatives held in July 25, 2018, including their framework on food and livelihood security which they agreed will be their priority agenda during their term and the basis of their agenda forecasting and work programming for CY 2019.  The PSRs also called for a more engaging civil society consultations in the area of investment programming and budgeting and pushed for a public-private partnership project matching activity in the region

The highlights of Sector committee meetings and resolutions endorsed to the RDC were delivered by Ms. Teresita Balgos, Co-Chairperson of the Development Administration Committee; Ms. Ma. Luisa Segovia, Chairperson of the Infrastructure Development Committee and the Regional Investment and Competitiveness Coordination Committee; DOST RD Rowen Gelonga, Chairperson of the Economic Development Committee and the Research and Development Committee; Ms. Febie Ibojos, Co-Chairperson of the Social Development Committee and Chairperson of the Regional Gender and Development Committee; HUDCC RD Eva Marfil, Presiding Officer of the Regional Land Use Committee; and RD Ro-Ann A. Bacal, Chairperson of the Regional Project Monitoring Committee.

Among the resolutions approved and adopted are the following: the request for DPWH to assist Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs) and capital towns to conduct a feasibility study on a combined sewerage and septage system; for HUCs and capital towns to implement a no physical contact apprehension for traffic violations, to install traffic command centers through the assistance of DOTC; the request for DPWH, Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and water districts to adopt trenchless technology in the installation of drainage, sewer and water supply lines; enjoining the Sangguniang Kabataan to use their funds to address youth health concerns not just for sports activities; supporting the RDC MIMAROPA resolution establishing Malaria Elimination Hubs in Region VI; approving the partnership agreement between the Philippine Commission on Women and RDC-VI represented by the RGADC; enjoining concerned LGUs and Regional Line Agencies to prioritize the conservation and protection of coastal wetlands in Capiz and Negros Occidental; requesting the DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau to coordinate and provide technical assistance in formulating the Biodiversity Strategic Island Plan for Panay and Guimaras and to conduct a Protected Area Suitability Assessment (PASA) of the Central Panay Mountain  Range; requesting the DENR Environment Management Bureau to include in the Environmental Compliance Certificate of Coal-Fired and Diesel-Fired Power Station Operators the requirement to annually plant or grow tree seedlings based on their actual operational capacity or carbon dioxide emissions; requiring that the DENR to visit the site prior to issuance of the ECC for projects in Environmentally Critical Areas;  for DENR to formulate a separate and practical guideline on the removal and disposal of trees and palms obstructing rivers and creeks;  and approval of the Regional Research and Development Agenda for CY 2018-2022.

The RDC also approved and adopted the RDC Manual of Operations.  Likewise, the recommendations presented by the TWG on possible Implementation of land reform in Boracay Island was also approved to be forwarded to the DAR Central Office.

DILG ARD Ma. Calpiza Sardua informed the body on localization of the performance indicators of the Philippine Development Plan and results matrices of the Western Visayas Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 including the Sustainable Development Goals.  NEDA Regional Director Ro-Ann A. Bacal called for the commitment and convergent efforts of the bureaucracy to realize the targets in the results matrices and the SDGs that will be cascaded into the local development plans.

Mr. Floyd Gamino of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary-Participatory Governance Office presented on the Biyaya ng Pagbabago which is a national poverty alleviation program coordinating the involvement of various sectors to reduce poverty incidence as targeted in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022.  The Kilusang Pagbabago is conducting district consultations, mass orientations/assemblies, and livelihood dissemination under the program.

Finally, Governor Cadiao discussed the need to review the pakyaw rates set by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board because the sacadas (migrant sugarcane farm workers) mostly from her Province of Antique are not adequately paid as equivocated during a recently held summit.  She also shared about the proposed Sustainable Livelihood Assistance for Migrant Sugar Workers and their families in the Province of Antique for funding by the Department of Labor and Employment.