The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region VI Office conducted briefings for newly-elected officials in the provinces of Iloilo, Negros Occidental and in Bacolod City.
NEDA-VI Regional Director Ro-Ann A. Bacal, presented the history of and functions NEDA, the structure and functions of the NEDA Board and the thrust of the current Regional Development Plan 2017-2022. Assistant Regional Director Arecio A. Casing, Jr. elaborated on the mandates, structure and functions of the Regional Development Council (RDC).
Ms. Maria Lourdes L. Miado, Chief of the Policy Formulation and Plan Division (PFPD) explained the planning process and the role of NEDA, the different types of plans, and the sector focus on the Development Administration Committee (DAC). Engr. Gilberto A. Altura, Chief of the Project Development Investment Programming and Budget Division (PDIPBD) elaborated on the development planning-investment programming-project formulation cycle, project evaluation, budgeting and the priority projects of the concerned LGUs. He also discussed the role of the Economic Development Committee and the Regional Investment Coordination and Competitiveness Committee.
Ms. Erlinda Chiu, Chief of the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) shared about monitoring and evaluation, the functions of the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC), the on-going and recently completed programs and projects and the agreements reached during Problem Solving Sessions (PSS) for concerned LGUs, and the major concerns in the infrastructure sector. Ms. Maria Teresa Guadalupe, Chief of the Development Research Division (DRD) shared the knowledge products as well as technical assistance offered by NEDA, as well as major concerns tackled during Social Development Committee (SDC), the RGADC, and the Subcommittee on International Migration and Development.
In the province of Iloilo, discussions were focused on the important requirements when LGUs enter the PPP arrangement ie. need for a local ordinance on PPP and detailed Terms of Reference especially on revenue streams that will directly benefit the LGUs from the arrangements. It was also mentioned by Dir. Ro-Ann A. Bacal for the LGUs, especially those invited for the PPP training in August to be ready with their proposals.
During the Negros Occidental leg in August 8 at the Negros Provincial Capitol, Governor Eugenio Jose V. Lacson conveyed the importance of having collective goals, a comprehensive understanding of every contextual situation, effective planning and collaboration with concerned national agencies are vital in ensuring an empowered citizenry and a progressive society. During the open forum, the issue of sugar importation was tackled, Director Bacal informed the participants that mechanization plays a significant role in addressing the emerging challenges of the sector, including the depleting sugarcane workers over the years. Moreover, NEDA will also take a special look into the rehabilitation and protection of water systems like the Ilog River, among many other concerns of the physical environment.
Vice Mayor El Cid M. Familiaran of Bacolod City expressed during the August 9 briefing at the Bacolod City Hall, that their city government shall align its local government plans and programs along with the socio-economic directions of the region and country. After the orientation, discussions revolved around water supply and distribution problems, systems improvement to minimize non-revenue water, prioritization and possible ways of financing projects, and maintaining balance between protection of natural resources vis-à-vis building infrastructure for development.
More briefings will follow with the following schedules: Guimaras (August 22), Aklan (August 29), Antique (Aug 30), Iloilo City (September 10) and Capiz (September 16) (DRD-NEDA VI).