The Davao Regional Development Council (RDC XI), through its Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC XI) spearheaded by RPMC XI Chairperson and NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, CESO II, conducted the 2020 Regional Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Forum with the theme “Strengthening the Measurement of Development Results of Programs and Projects in Davao Region through Evaluation” on October 8 & 9, 2020 through Zoom videoconference and Youtube livestreaming on the NEDA-RDC XI channel.

The 2-day activity was attended by 375 participants from National Government Agencies (NGAs), Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Water Districts, Electric Cooperatives, units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines – Eastern Mindanao Command (AFP-EMC), the Philippine National Police (PNP) – Regional Office XI and its provincial and Davao City Police Offices, and members of the Provincial, City and Municipal Project Monitoring Committees (PMCs) and Local Task Force for the ELCAC, and garnered a total of 662 views on the NEDA-RDC XI Youtube channel.

The Chairperson of the National Project Monitoring Committee (NPMC) and OIC of the NEDA – Regional Development Group, Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla, graced the event and delivered a message on the first day of the forum. Undersecretary Sombilla emphasized the importance of evidenced-based decision-making in addressing the country’s development challenges through monitoring and evaluation. She urged the participants to optimize the mechanisms of monitoring and evaluation in a manner that government agencies and LGUs deliver their mandates to ensure efficient, effective and impactful use of public resources and in improving results that contribute to laying the foundation for inclusive growth, high-trust and resilient society and globally competitive knowledge economy. The forum covered topics on the processes, roles and responsibilities of Project Monitoring Units of government offices and LGUs focused on evaluation.

In the first session, Assistant Director Jesse T. David and Ms. Kathleen J. Virtusio of the NEDA – Monitoring and Evaluation Staff presented the National Evaluation Policy Framework (NEPF) and the 2015 Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System (RPMES) Operational Guidelines, respectively. Discussions for the session focused on M&E initiatives, challenges and prospects in the public sector, as well as the importance of results-based M&E and its contribution to effective, efficient and sustainable policy, program and project implementation.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) led a session on the Budget and Treasury Management System (BTMS), Project Digital Information for Monitoring and Evaluation (DIME) and the Cash Budgeting Cycle with Ms. Jhoana Marie R. Rull, CPA and Mr. Omar L. Castañar as resource persons. During this session, discussions focused on M&E processes for the investment and implementation phases of the project evaluation cycle. These digitized systems of the DBM can be used as alternative methods to monitoring and evaluation in situations similar to the COVID-19 Pandemic where mobility and in-person engagements with project proponents and stakeholders are limited.

The final session discussed M&E topics specific to the Region, namely the Davao Region Development Plan (DRDP), 2017-2022 Midterm Update Development Framework and Regional Results Matrices (DRRM) and M&E Framework, and Cluster Objectively Verifiable Indicators (OVIs) for the Implementation of the Joint National/Regional Task Force Executive Order 70 Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) Plan for Davao Region.

Moving forward, the RPMC XI shall conduct another orientation-workshop in 2020 focused on enhancing the capacities of designated focal personnel of various agencies, Local Project Monitoring Committees and Local Task Forces for the ELCAC in the formulation of localized indicators and reporting of quarterly monitoring, progress and accomplishment reports to the RPMC XI in order to enhance and produce more accurate and substantive Regional M&E reports.

(Francesca Dianne B. Solis, Sr. EDS, NRO XI)