Digos City, July 11, 2023 – NEDA XI, in partnership with ONE XI and the local government unit of Digos City, conducted a 3-part Community Dialogue/Outreach Program on 11 July 2023 at Digos City. The first part was a project visit in Brgy. Binaton, Digos City. The second part was the ceremonial ribbon-cutting of the NEDA XI Special Reference Section for Development Planning and turn-over of donated computers, office chairs, books and references to the Digos City Library; and the last part was the Community Dialogue/Knowledge Sharing Session on the Davao Regional Development Plan (DRDP), 2023-2028.

On the first part of the activity, NEDA XI officials and staff, along with Ms. Hazel Cubian, Executive Assistant to the Digos City Administrator and staff of the Digos City Tourism Office, visited the Coffee Production project site in Brgy. Binaton, Digos City. Regional Director (RD) Maria Lourdes D. Lim, CESO II had a short dialogue with Tribal Leader Bai Baby Jerlina Owok. Thereafter, the NEDA XI officials and staff visited the memorial site of the 1980 Rano massacre, located in the same area.

The efforts in developing Bansalan and the Mt. Apo Natural Park were evident in the paved roads that made traversing and reaching the tourist spots and mountain resorts easier. Establishments such as berry picking farms, cafes, and mountain resorts were aplenty. Also, as another form of transportation other than horses, motorcycles, and trucks that would haul vegetables, and sometimes passengers, the modern public utility vehicles that were launched this year would be a factor in boosting the area’s tourism and turning it into a summer capital of the province.

The second part of the activity was the ceremonial ribbon-cutting of the NEDA XI Special Reference Section for Development Planning at the Digos City Library, which is the NRO’s pilot project as part of its Knowledge Management Initiatives and DRDP, 2023-2028 advocacy activities; and turn-over of donated computers, office, chairs, books and references to the Digos City Library. RD Lim, Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Gilberto A. Altura, members of the NRO XI ManCom, Digos City Legal Officer Atty. Nikkolo Marco Aurelo Cortes, and Digos City Librarian III Esther G. Tabanao, RL and Librarian I Perla May P. Tabanao, RL, participated in the said event.

The final part of the activity was the Community Dialogue/Knowledge Sharing on the Implementation of the DRDP, 2023-2028 at the Digos City Gym. This was attended by city functionaries from Executive and Legislative Offices, and officials and workers from the 26 barangays of Digos City.

RD Lim opened the event with a message highlighting that the DRDP, 2023-2028, in line with the Marcos Administration’s 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda, was for all Davaoeños. The full appreciation, adoption, and cooperation of Digos City and its local communities were requested to achieve the regional plan, as well as NEDA-RDC XI’s collective efforts in leading inclusive transformation for a sustainable Davao Region. RD Lim also congratulated Digos City for its comprehensive Land Use Plan and Development Plan, which will be integrated in the Davao del Sur Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan, which the Regional Development Council XI, through the Regional Land Use Committee, shall review and endorse. It was urged that Digos City’s Barangay Development Plans were adequately integrated into the CLUP.

Chief Economic Development Specialist (CEDS) Rosendo M. Aya-ay presented the highlights of the DRDP, 2023-2028 and advocacy activities to the attendees. An open forum discussion was conducted, wherein questions regarding how the DRDP would be implemented in grassroot areas, and other concerns of the locals regarding how and where to apply for loans, especially for farmers, and the high electricity rates of the Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative (DASURECO) that were responded to by CEDS Emily Jeanette R. Salvado and CEDS Mario M. Realista.

ARD Altura closed the event with a message thanking the attendees for participating in the event and encouraged local officials to practice good governance in addressing poverty reduction towards an inclusive and sustainable Davao Region. -RAIZZA MAE D. CINCO, NEDA XI