In September of every year, the Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) is observed under Proclamation No. 247, which stresses the importance of policy research in the socioeconomic advancement of the country, through evidence-based development planning and policy formulation.

The Regional Research Utilization Forum (RRUF) for 2023 was conducted on 28 September 2023 at the RDC Conference Hall, NEDA-VI Office, Iloilo City.  It was participated by over 70 participants, comprising of representatives from the academe, research institutions, national government agencies, local government units, the private sector, and the different regional research consortia.

The event is anchored on the theme: “Going Green and Digital for a More Sustainable, Inclusive and Prosperous Future for All.”  The thematic sessions, which are also aligned with the Western Visayas Regional Development Plan (WV-RDP) 2023-2023, explored developing and protecting the capabilities of individuals and families, transforming production sectors to generate quality jobs and competitive products, and creating enabling environments.  In his message, NEDA-VI Regional Director, Engr. Arecio A. Casing, Jr. encouraged researchers to work on projects that can support the strategies set in the WV-RDP, and for a smarter and more sustainable future for Western Visayas.

Dr. Pia Regina Fatima Zamora-Rico, Coordinator of the ATIPAN Telehealth Project, Center for Informatics, University of San Agustin, discussed the assistance extended to marginalized communities through telemedicine.  She hoped that this will serve as a model for Universal Health Care (UHC) implementation. Dr. Maureen Nettie Linan of ISAT-University presented how blockchain technology can enhance the Guimaras mango supply chain. Prof. Perry Neil Fernandez shared how wave energy can help provide power sources for small island communities. Six reactors from the government and private sectors shared insights on possibilities for replication, the importance of community empowerment, gender responsiveness, sustainability issues and on funding opportunities.

The Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology Region VI, Dr. Naomi Cossette R. Luis, concluded the event through a synthesis stressing on the “transformative power of innovation in advancing sustainable development” (IGPahila/NEDA VI DRD).