Members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) 6 approved 18 resolutions during its Fourth Quarter Full Council Regular Meeting on December 13, 2022 at the RDC Hall of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office 6 in Iloilo City.

One of the more pressing resolutions approved by the council enjoined the provincial, city, and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fully cooperate and proactively implement the Bantay African Swine Fever (ASF) Barangay (Babay ASF) Program and other countermeasures recommended by the Department of Agriculture to manage and prevent the further spread of the disease.

Another equally important resolution endorsed by the Council is the Western Visayas Annual Investment Program for FY 2024, a document that presents the annual slice of the Regional Development Investment Program (RDIP) and serves as the basis for the preparation of the FY 2024 Budget Proposals. The RDIP constitutes the total resource requirements for all programs and projects for funding and implementation by the national government.

The other resolutions were likewise endorsed by the Council with Bacolod City Mayor and newly appointed RDC Chairperson, Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez, presiding over the meeting.

Chairperson Benitez apprised the members of the new Philippine Development Plan and Regional Development Plan for 2023-2028 which are intended to translate the 8-point socioeconomic agenda of the current administration into strategies that would revitalize the economy and address pressing issues on inflation, poverty, and unemployment, among others.

He also led the oath-taking of Atty. Jobert A. Peñaflorida as RDC6 Co-Chairperson and the confirmation of other Sectoral/Special Committee Officers, and Private Sector Representatives (PSRs) of the RDC6.

This quarter’s agenda tackled the launching of the Regional GIS Information Network – Innovation Hub (RGIN-IH). The RGIN-IH is a project funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with the geoportal server hosted by and administered at NEDA6. This project is a collaboration between RLAs and LGUs whose main goal is to strengthen policymaking and improve public service delivery through the efficient generation and dissemination of geospatial data. NEDA 6 OIC-Regional Director Arecio A. Casing, Jr. presented the background and key features of the project, followed by an actual demonstration of how the portal works by one of its administrators.

The RGIN-IH geoportal was designed using Geonode, which is a web-based content management platform for maps. It allows members of the RGIN to have exclusive access to geospatial data that they can manipulate, download, print and utilize for policy formulation, development research, investment programming, and monitoring.

“The RGIN- IH is a potent tool for local government units, regional line agencies, and state universities and colleges to use in development planning and research.  Therefore, we would like to encourage the expansion of its membership and the upload of more resource materials for information sharing,” Benitez said.

Also included in the agenda is the recognition of the regional winners of the 2022 Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) who were all awarded certificates and plaques of recognition. The Regional Search Committee was comprised of NEDA 6 as chairperson with the RDC-PSR, Department of Interior and Local Government, and Philippine Information Agency, Civil Service Commission as members.

The 2022 SOV, spearheaded by the Philippine National Volunteer Services Coordinating Agency at the national level, is the centerpiece activity of National Volunteer Month observed every December. It aims to identify and recognize the exemplary performance and achievements of outstanding Filipino volunteers and volunteer organizations in nation-building by empowering communities and promoting volunteerism as a way of life.

A fellowship followed the business proper to culminate the council’s last activity for the year. (RDemonteverde/NEDA VI-DRD)