Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua urged the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office VI employees to pursue outcomes, rather than just outputs, during his official visit to the region on October 19, 2021.

In his message to NRO VI, Chua enjoined the staff to strive for excellence, especially during the pandemic. According to Chua, the challenge does not lie in simply doing one’s job but doing more for oneself and the country.

Chua also emphasized that to improve productivity, the agency should be strengthened internally. He noted that the NEDA buildings in the central and regional offices should be refurbished when necessary, and information technology systems should also be upgraded. Apart from this, Chua also calls for the institutionalization of knowledge management among NEDA offices so that data are efficiently shared agency-wide. He also stressed the need to enhance monitoring and evaluation (M&E) so that past lessons can be applied to new projects.

According to Chua, these internal improvements will enable the agency to help the country recover from the pandemic and prepare for the future.

Among the NEDA chief’s emerging priorities for the future are smart infrastructure, innovation, regional equity, and climate resilience.

Chua explained that smart infrastructure encompasses transportation, digital communication, urban planning, land use, and the environment.

He also said that innovation does not only pertain to high-tech developments, but also basic solutions in areas such as agriculture. This will be the key for the Philippines to become an upper middle-income country by 2040.

He added that promoting regional equity is about looking at data and objectively assessing where projects are needed while managing scarce resources.

Finally, he said that NEDA needs to proactively help the country prepare for climate change, and that the agency’s goal should be to give the next generation a better planet to live in.

The secretary concluded his message by emphasizing that he is not the expert in managing the economy of the country.  He encouraged the employees to dream and work with him to attain NEDA’s goals.

After Chua’s message, OIC-Regional Director Meylene C. Rosales presented to Chua the profiles of the staff and the region. Meanwhile, Assistant Regional Director Arecio A. Casing, Jr. discussed NEDA VI’s initiatives and key projects.

The meeting ended with an open forum, where Chua responded favorably to the staff’s concerns.

NEDA VI is the 9th NRO that Secretary Chua visited this year.   He was joined by Regional Development Group Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla and Director Remedios S. Endencia, and staff from the Office of the Secretary, namely Monica Tricia L. Rivera, Joseph Christian S. Singson, and Renzo Enrico DG. Blanco.

After his visit to Iloilo City, Chua proceeded to Boracay, Aklan to attend the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force Principals’ Meeting. (CMPamonag/DRD)