The Regional Development Council in Davao (RDC XI)  conducted the virtual launch of the Davao Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022 Midterm Update and its accompanying documents. These documents are  the Regional Development Investment Program, Results Matrices and the Davao Regional Development Research Agenda, highlighting the Region’s Recovery Program for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The event was held on  August 26 through  the StreamYard platform.

In his welcome message, RDC XI Chair Jayvee Tyron L. Uy encouraged all Davaoeños to remain steadfast amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, “This pandemic must and shall not stop us from realizing this Davao RDP. The work continues. The modes of communication for the moment may have changed but we put the same, if possible, greater amount of energy and zeal for the realization of this Plan”.

RDC XI Vice Chairperson and Regional Director (RD) Maria Lourdes D. Lim  of the NEDA Regional Office in Davao (NRO XI) presented the highlights of the updated Plan and the COVID-19 Recovery Program stating that a multi-pronged and multi-strategy development approach have  been adopted to address the huge challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while sustaining the region’s efforts to achieve its commitments in the next three years.

Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS XI)  and Department of Budget and Management  Secretary Wendel E. Avisado and NEDA Assistant Secretary  Mercedita A. Sombilla graced the said event.

Avisado noted that Davao has gone a long way since the start of President Rodrigo  Duterte’s administration as the National Government’s funding allocation for the region has improved significantly, from PhP 76.4 billion in 2017 to PhP133.5 billion in 2020. Most of the projects  are centered on infrastructure as part of the administration’s Build Build Build Program. He explained, “Projects that were only visions before such as the Davao Coastal and Bypass Roads, the Mindanao Railway Project and the most awaited Davao-Samal Connector Bridge Project, among others, are gradually coming to life. These infra projects will provide better means of transportation as we aim to promote and increase economic opportunities for Davao region and the whole of Mindanao.” Further, he said that as CORDS for Davao  and DBM Secretary, he is closely monitoring the region’s peace and development programs and projects and ensuring that the programs shall obtain appropriate funding support especially for conflict-affected barangays.

Asec Sombilla shared that the current COVID-19 situation has brought about the biggest challenge to the government in terms of policymaking and execution of key interventions that seek to balance the protection of the health and welfare of the people and the recovery of the economy. She said that the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) has refocused its objectives and strategies towards creating a healthy and resilient Philippines, taking off from the We Recover as One Report that NEDA has crafted. As the RDPs mirror the PDP, the Davao RDP  shall guide the development path towards propelling to rise from the current economic slump.  She added  that the launching event is a manifestation that  Davaoeños’ are working together for a common goal of bringing Davao  to a higher level of growth.

The virtual event, mounted in partnership with the Communication for Development Network (a network of public information officers in the region) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA XI), culminated with a press conference, ONE DAVAO, hosted by  RD  Frances Mae Macapagat of PIA XI. Present during the virtual press conference  as resource persons were RDC XI Chairperson Uy and Vice-Chairperson Lim, RD Anabelle P. Yumang of Department of Health  XI, RD  Maria Belenda Ambi of Department of Trade and Industry  XI, RD  Filmore Escobal of Philippine National Police  XI, and Assistant RD  Merlinda Paragamac of Department of Social Welfare and Development  XI.

The virtual launch reached over 60,000  stakeholders, with almost 2,000 engagements, through livestream over NRO  XI and PIA XI’s Facebook pages which were also shared by various national government agencies, local government units, basic and higher education institutions, business groups, nongovernment organizations and civil society organizations, and other private organizations through their social media platforms, including PTV Davao.  Not included in this count were  those who participated  through their offices and institutions which put up projector screens to view the event  and those who participated in watch parties hosted by individual social media accounts.  Participants to the event expressed their appreciation and interest in the Plan by extending their congratulatory wishes to NRO  XI and RDC XI for providing them the opportunity to know about the directions of the region, especially in the new normal.  The viewers also expressed hope that more jobs will be created and industries established in Davao’s rural areas.

The set of Plan documents have been uploaded and can be accessed from NRO XI and RDC XI websites.