Delegates from 17 regions of the country (except NCR and ARMM) participated in the 9th Regional Development Council Private Sector Representatives (RDC-PSR) National Convention last May 22-25, 2018 at the Greenleaf Hotel, General Santos City with the theme “Peace and Development through Better Governance”.

RDC-XII hosted this year’s convention with Chairperson Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera of General Santos City welcoming the delegates. He emphasized the importance of good governance and collaboration of the Private Sector and Government in accelerating efforts in peace and development and for social and economic progress.

The objectives of the convention are to enhance the appreciation and understanding of PSRs about their roles and responsibilities in the RDC; and to identify the impacts and recommend measures in the areas of private sector participation.

Among the speakers for this year’s convention were Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense, who discussed “Peace and Security in the Country: The Mindanao Context”; and Assistant Secretary Jonathan E. Malaya of the Department of the Interior and Local Government who presented “Federalism: An Overview of the Proposed Philippine Federal Model”. Undersecretary Adoracion M. Navarro of the National Economic and Development Authority was the main guest speaker. She highlighted the role of PSRs in setting higher goals for the promotion of regional economy and the attainment of the Philippine Development Plan’s goals of inclusive growth, a high-trust society, and a globally competitive knowledge economy.

The representative of  the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Professor Raby Angkal discussed the “Bangsamoro Basic Law”. Topics on “Barrier-Free Tourism” was presented by Regional Director Maria Rica C. Bueno of the Department of Tourism; and “The State of Philippine Agriculture: Peace and Food Security” by Ray H. Embajador, the OIC-Chief of the Field Operations Division of the             Department of Agriculture XII.

The three-day Convention culminated with site visits in different tourist attractions in SOCSARGEN. The delegates were given three options. 1) SOX Agri-Eco Tour Experience in Lake Sebu to see the majestic falls, have lunch in the lake cruise, with the close encounter of the T’boli Tribe culture and visit  an; 2) SOXciting Food Tour Experience to taste the delicacies in the region, starting from Sarangani Highlands Garden and Restaurant, then to Felicidad Orchard Garden and Organics and to Lamlifew Village Museum, immersing with Blaan culture cuisine in Malungon, Sarangani Province; and 3) SOX Farm Tour Town Glan Experience covering the visit to Rio Vista Organic Farm and relaxing with the breathtaking view of the Isla Jardin Del Mar, a white beach in Gumasa, Sarangani Province. All of the tour packages ended with the Pacman Adventure, for house tour of Iconic Boxing czar, Manny Pacquiao. The next RDC PSR National Convention will be hosted by RDC-MIMAROPA. (RDDejuan/NEDA)