DOLORES J. MOLINTAS

NEDA Region 7 Regional Director

MESSAGE DURING THE NEDA 7, POPCOM 7 AND PSA 7 EXPANDED MANCOM MEETING

12 July 2022, 01:30 – 03:30 PM via Zoom videoconference

First and foremost let me greet everyone a pleasant good afternoon, especially to RD Ariel Florendo, RD Bruce Ragas, ManCom members and staff of the NEDA 7, POPCOM 7 and PSA 7. I would also like to thank PSA 7 for hosting this quarter’s expanded mancom meeting, and everyone for finding time to participate in this meeting despite our busy schedules in this transition period to the new administration.

Three weeks ago, on June 23, the Central Visayas RDC conducted the 2nd quarter Full Council Meeting, which is the last meeting for the term 2019-2022. Section 14 of Executive Order No. 325 provides that the term of office of the RDC Chair, Co-Chair, and private sector representatives (PSRs) shall serve for a fixed term of 3 years coinciding with the regular term of local elective officials. With this, the RDC Secretariat, c/o NEDA 7, will be conducting the PSR selection in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor from July 25 to August 04. On August 25, the RDC will conduct a special meeting to confirm the new PSRs, endorse the Chair and Co-chair to the Office of the President, and confirm the membership of regional line agencies, local government units and PSRs in the RDC sectoral, sub- and special committees. Following the sectoral committee meetings on the first and second weeks of September 2022, the RDC Full Council will conduct its third quarter meeting tentatively by September 30 to confirm the composition of the sectoral committees as well as the Full Council membership of special non-voting members (SNVMs).

By fourth quarter this year, the RDC will conduct its agenda-setting workshops which will largely be anchored on the Ambisyon Natin 2040, and the 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda for the Near Term (1st year) and Medium Term (2028). The goal of these 8-point agenda is to reinvigorate job creation and poverty reduction by steering the economy back to its high-growth path in the near term and sustain the high growth of 6 to 8 percent by 2028. Poverty incidence is expected to decline from 20 percent to 9 percent within the said time period.

The draft 8 strategic interventions for the near term are as follows:

  1. Ensure food security. The availability, affordability and access to food supply shall be ensured by prioritizing spending on productivity-enhancing measures and efficient marketing distribution of the produce. Investments in research and development shall be increased, particularly on better seeds, pest and disease management, extension services, climate change adaptation (CCA), value addition, and shelf-life extending technologies.
  2. Reduce transport and logistics cost. Regulatory processes shall be streamlined to facilitate seamless international trade and domestic transactions.
  3. Reduce energy cost to families. Alternative work arrangements shall be implemented where these are proven effective and productivity-enhancing. Partial and temporary reduction of taxes shall be explored, and alternative modes of transport shall be encouraged.
  4. Sound fiscal management. Tax administration reforms shall be implemented to increase revenue collection. Expenditure priorities shall be realigned and spending efficiency will be improved to immediately address the economic scars of COVID-19, and prepare for future economic shocks. Government resources shall be focused on health, education, infrastructure and social protection.
  5. Tackle health. COVID-19 vaccination will be ramped up. Reforms and investments on the Universal Health Act shall be resumed. Delivery of essential nutrition services to the first 1000 days of life shall be expanded, especially to LGUs with high rates of stunting.
  6. Safely reopen face-to-face education. Classes at all levels shall be quickly and safely reopened. Tutorial and remedial classes for learning gaps, alternative learning system for dropouts and reskilling and upskilling programs for displaced workers will be provided.
  7. Strengthen social protection. The core function of the 4Ps shall be strengthened. The adoption of the National ID System (PhilSys) shall be expedited.
  8. Enhance bureaucratic efficiency. The full functionality of the PhilSys shall be ensured. Transformation and digitalization of government processes, records, and databases shall be facilitated. Programs shall be crafted to assist LGUs on functions devolved through the Mandanas ruling.

The implementation of these 8 interventions will need the support of each of us in order to achieve its goal. Thus, I encourage everyone to continue our efforts and initiatives towards the socioeconomic development of Central Visayas.