The NEDA Board Regional Development Committee – Visayas Area conducted a Technical Working Group (TWG) Workshop last May 24, 2019 in Dumaguete City.  RD Ro-Ann Bacal of NRO6 convened the gathering as head of the RDCOM-VAC Secretariat and explained the rationale of the workshop, i.e. to brainstorm and come up with four outputs: 1) list of priority programs/projects to be individually or collectively pursued by the Visayas regions; 2) agenda forecast for CY 2019-2022 calendared for the RDCom VAC meetings; 3) research proposals that will benefit the three regions; and 4) special events to be jointly carried out by the RDCs of the Visayas.

RDS Director Remedios Endencia provided pointers for agenda generation and shared the highlights of the NB-RDCom Technical Meeting held last May 21, 2019 emphasizing the need for the RDCs to provide technical assistance to the LGUs once the SC ruling on the Mandanas case will be implemented in 2022.

RD Efren Carreon of NEDA-VII reported on updates of programs and projects identified in the Visayas Spatial Development Framework that have been completed, under implementation, and still to be pursued by the regions.  He said that it was important for the regions to always be ready with proposals for the priority projects of the Visayas in order to ensure their eventual funding and realization.

While the participants were divided into workshop groups and proceeded to generate the expected outputs, the RDs/OIC sat together to discuss a number of concerns, including:  how to prepare the NROs to provide technical assistance to the LGUs in light of the increased allocations they will be receiving starting in 2022;  the need to update the Visayas Spatial Development Framework focusing on how to connect the physical and land use aspects to the sector concerns; the need to offer Basic Course Trainings on Urban and Regional Planning especially for newly hired personnel;  to further strengthen the coordinative work with DILG especially along strengthening the capabilities of LGUs to handle more programs and projects to be implemented.

The plenary presentations and discussions were later moderated by OIC-ARD Gilberto Altura while NEDA-VIII OIC-RD Meylene Rosales gave the closing remarks.

The RDCom VAC TWG is composed of the technical secretariats of the Regional Development Councils of Regions VI, VII and VIII.