(Davao City, 23 November 2021). The Economic Development Committee (EDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC) XI convened for its 4th quarter regular meeting for CY 2021 via Zoom on November 23, 2021. Among the matters deliberated by the Committee was the FY 2023 Annual Investment Program (AIP) for the Economic and Environmental Sectors in Davao Region.

The total amount programmed for the FY 2023 AIP for Davao Region under the economic and environmental sectors is PHP 25.695 billion, with Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries getting 78% or PHP 20.132 billion of the total investment, followed by the Environment sector at 13% or PHP 3.4 billion, Industry and Services at 7% or PHP 1.904 billion and Science and Technology at 1% or PHP 258 million.

In terms of the agencies with proposed highest investment targets under the economic and environment sector, the Department of Agriculture (DA) XI ranked first with PHP 18.84 billion, followed by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) XI with PHP 2.351 billion, and the Department of Tourism (DOT) XI with PHP 1.52 billion. The combined amounts proposed by these agencies comprise 88 percent of the total public investments of the sector in Davao Region. 

On Projects, Activities and Programs (PAPs) to be devolved to the Local Government Units (LGUs) in light of the Supreme Court Ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia Petitions and Executive Order No. 138, series of 2021, on the full devolution of some of the functions of the Executive Branch of the National Government to the Local Government Units (LGUs) beginning 2022, a total of 604 PAPs or PHP 628.979 million identified by DA XI, DENR XI, DOT XI, and DOST XI, shall be devolved for FY 2023. Other agencies under this sector have yet to finalize the list of PAPs that shall be devolved to the LGUs.

Despite the implementation on the full devolution of functions, the FY 2023 AIP for the economic and environment sector still managed to increase by 5% compared to the FY 2022 AIP amounting to PHP 24.528 billion. The said increase is attributable to the proposed construction of various farm-to-market roads in the provinces of Region XI; funding assistance for the construction of the Davao City Waste-to-Energy project; construction of regional cultural hubs and food technology centers; construction of the regional standard laboratories (RSTL); and small enterprise technology upgrading program (SETUP), among others.

On the other hand, among the list of PAPs that shall be devolved to LGUs for FY 2023 include the provision of seeds, crops seedlings, fertilizers, insecticides and other animal drugs and biotics. Likewise, the establishment of Techno demo farms and animal dispersal, as well as the conduct of trainings on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), pest management, farmer’s field school, and animal production shall be devolved to the LGUs. Furthermore, the community empowerment through science and technology and the development and rehabilitation of communal forests, tree parks and greenbelts, and community watershed shall also be devolved to LGUs. –Sr. EDS Normiel B. Aslor, NEDA XI