Regional Development Council (RDC) VI Chairperson and Bacolod City Mayor Abelardo B. Benitez encouraged the council members as well as other local government units, regional line agencies, and state universities and colleges to use the Regional Geographic Information Network Innovation Hub (RGIN-IH) Geoportal in development planning and research. This was during the RGIN-IH Geoportal launch in the RDC-VI Fourth Quarter Full Council Meeting in Iloilo City on December 13, 2022.

Chairperson Benitez pointed out that the RGIN-IH is a potent tool for growth whose uploaded geospatial data in the portal can serve as reference in planning and policy formulation, research and innovation, and investment programming.

The RGIN which started back in 2003 was developed by Mr. Giovanni I. Maguddayao of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office II. It was initially intended as a venue to share best practices on GIS and ICT. It was in 2019 that the RGIN evolved into a web-based Innovation Hub that gained recognition from former Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary, Engr. Fortunato T. Dela Peña, who declared that the project should be replicated in all regions through NEDA.

Mr. Nathaniel Ian G. Galanida, RGIN Project Assistant II, demonstrated the web portal navigation. He showed the basic features of the portal, as well as the maps that are available exclusively to the RGIN members. To date, there are 25 government institutions that secured their membership through a Memorandum of Agreement.

“The implementation of the RGIN-IH Project in Western Visayas will facilitate the efficient and effective generation, dissemination, and sharing of geospatial data among agencies,” said OIC-Regional Director Arecio A. Casing, Jr. of NEDA VI.

Members of the RDC showed strong support for the project. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) VI Regional Executive Director, Forester Livino B. Duran, committed to upload cadastral maps in the geoportal, including 32 other thematic maps developed by their agency.

The Council passed a resolution encouraging municipalities to proactively participate in populating the RGIN-IH geoportal.

The project in Western Visayas was funded through the Grant-In-Aid Program of the Department of Science and Technology. The NEDA as project implementer accomplished the procurement of ICT equipment, and cloud services and ensured the completion of a GIS and a Geoportal Administration Training Course for the members. (JADelfin/RGIN-IH)