(Bansalan, Davao del Sur). Davao Oriental Governor Niño Sotero L. Uy, Jr. and NEDA XI Regional Director Priscilla R. Sonido, CESO III, led the conduct of the Regional Development Council (RDC) XI First Quarter Full Council Meeting on March 15, 2024, as the Council’s new Chairperson and ex-officio Vice Chairperson, respectively. Governor Uy took his Oath as RDC XI Chairperson for the remainder of the Term, 2022-2025, on January 15, 2024. Director Sonido, on the other hand, is a comebacking NEDA XI Official who was re-assigned from NEDA Caraga on February 10, 2024.

The meeting was held at the Haven’s Dew Resort, Sitio Balutakay, Brgy. Managa, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. It was hosted by the Provincial Government of Davao del Sur, led by Governor Yvonne R. Cagas, who purposely selected the venue to showcase Davao del Sur’s success story in its counterinsurgency efforts and the highland leisure destinations particularly in the said area.

Key matters that were discussed/endorsed during the meeting included: Davao Region’s priority regional/inter-regional programs and projects for presentation during the RDC Chairpersons’ meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in April 2024, the Region’s share in the FY 2024 General Appropriations Act, and the RDC XI’s endorsement of Davao Region line agencies’, government-owned and -controlled corporations’, and state universities and colleges’ budget proposals for inclusion in the FY 2025 National Expenditure Program and onwards in the 2025 General Appropriations Act. The Council also endorsed the Davao Region component of the Department of Education’s Infrastructure for Safer and Resilient Schools (ISRS) Project, the Department of Health’s Health Systems Resilience Project (HSRP), the Change of Cost and Scope Appraisal for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s component in the Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project (PMNP), and the Department of Agrarian Reform’s Pang-agraryong Tulay para sa Bagong Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka (PBBM Bridges) Project.

On administrative concerns, the RDC XI confirmed the designation of DILG XI OIC-Regional Director Abdullah Matalam and DTI XI Acting Regional Director Romeo Castañaga as Chairpersons of the Council’s Development Administration Committee (DAC XI) and Economic Development Committee (EDC XI), respectively. They succeeded Former DILG XI Regional Director Alex Roldan and Former DTI XI Regional Director Maria Belenda Ambi whose retirement from government service took effect in January 2024 and February 2024, respectively.

In his message to the Council members, Governor Uy acknowledged the predecessors who mentored and prepared the current leaders, handing over the Davao Regional Development Plan, 2023-2028, as the RDC XI’s guidebook in leading inclusive economic and social transformation for a sustainable Davao Region.

Attendees of the meeting included Department of Education Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, Mati City Mayor Michelle Marie Denise Rabat, the Presidents of the Leagues of Municipalities in Davao del Sur and Davao de Oro, Malalag Mayor Peter Paul Valentin and Mawab Mayor Ruperto Gonzaga III, respectively, the Commanding General of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, MGEN Allan Hambala, Atty. James Michael Cabading from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) – Region XI, heads and representatives of various regional line agencies in Davao Region, and the RDC XI Private Sector Representatives.