DAVAO CITY- The NEDA Board-Regional Development Committee for Mindanao conducted its 25th Conferenceon December 11, 2018 at the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel, Lanang, Davao City. This was participated in by members and representatives of the RDCom-Mindanao Committee and resource persons from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Bangsamoro Transition Commission and Consultants from the Brain Trust, Inc. (BTI).

The Conference was highlighted by the presentation of the two R&D projects initiated by NRO XI, which also involve the Mindanao NROs. These are the Creation of a Regional Econometric Model for Gross Regional Domestic Product Target-Setting and Building Scenarios as aid in Policy Making and Agglomeration Model for Mindanao Regions which were presented by the Brain Trust, Inc. Consultants, namely: Mr. U-Primo Rodriguez and Dr. Roehlano Briones, respectively. These projects were recently completed and are in their final stages of revision and packaging. The completion of these projects also included a capability-building component, which benefited all Mindanao NROs, as well as the ARMM Regional Planning and Development Office, particularly the technical personnel. These projects were endorsed by the Committee to NEDA for adoption by all Regional Development Councils and the ARMM-Regional Economic and Development Planning Board as a standard planning tool for regional development analysis and scenario building.

The RDCom-Mindanao also deliberated on the following: a)Proposed Irrigation Master Plan for the Philippines presented by Engr. Rogelia de la Torre of the NIA, the said Master Plan shall serve as reference in the formulation of a Mindanao Irrigation Master Plan; b) Understanding the Proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law by Commissioner Datu Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which shall serve as reference in the updating of the Mindanao Regional Development Plans and the Regional Physical Framework Plans, as it will have implications on the administrative and geographic composition of the regions, as well as on their investment programs and budget; and c) Issue Paper on Increasing the Cost Threshold in GPPB Resolution No 7, s. 2009 and proposed                        System of Accreditation for local government units (LGUs) in Implementing Infrastructure Projects by Administration presented by Mr. Francisco Romulus Villanueva of NEDA Caraga which shall hasten implementation of government infrastructure projects not only in Mindanao, but the whole country, as well. The Committee resolved that the minimum threshold of PhP20 million allowed in the subject GPPB resolution to LGU’s for the implementation of projects by administration be only applicable to municipalities and not to provinces and highly urbanized cities.

The Committee also passed a resolution in support of RDC IX’s request, thanking President Rodrigo Duterte for his unwavering support for the Mindanao-based projects, particularly the Zamboanga Ecozone Authority programs and projects, namely: a) Proposed Establishment of the West Corporate Center; b) Proposed Establishment of a 100 Hectare Asian Halal Center; c) Proposed Establishment of the La Paz Biotech Farm; and d) Proposed Establishment of the San Ramon Newport.

The RDCom-Mindanao Area Committee is an island-wide committee under the NEDA Board with membership comprising of the Mindanao RDC Chairpersons, Co-Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons. It is Chaired by Gov. Anthony G. del Rosario, who is also the  RDC XI Chairperson and Provincial Governor of Davao del Norte Province. (Marivic C. Natividad DRD, NEDA XI)