(Davao City). The Regional Development Council (RDC) XI Private Sectors Representatives participated in the 14th RDC-PSRs’ National Convention conducted on April 26 to 28, 2023 at the Iloilo Convention Center in Megaworld Iloilo Business Park in Iloilo City. The highlights and key take aways from their participation in the said Convention were presented by PSR Arturo Milan, RDC XI Co-Chairperson, during the Second Quarter Meeting of the RDC XI on June 26, 2023. 12 out of the current 14 PSRs were able to join in this year’s Convention together with the RDC XI Vice Chairperson and NEDA XI RD Maria Lourdes Lim and RDC XI Secretary and NEDA XI ARD Gilberto Altura. The Convention was participated by more than 200 PSRs from across the 15 RDCs in the country. ”This was my first in-person RDC-PSR NatCon since the ones we had in the previous Term (from 2020 to 2022) were all conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was truly delighted to be able to personally interact with our fellow PSRs from all the RDCs across the country, and together, push for valuable policy recommendations from our respective sectors in the Philippine Society”, Co-Chair Milan said.

Dubbed as a Festival of HOPE, the theme of the Convention was centered on Harnessing Opportunities, Participation and Empowerment. In his Keynote Message, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan emphasized that the RDCs are the National Government’s main partners in advancing inclusive socio-economic development in the regions. He further highlighted the promotion of innovation as a key national government priority, wherein robust and dynamic innovation ecosystems shall be cultivated to support the country’s economic and social transformation. This strategy, he said, should result in improvements in our production sectors, the design and export of competitive and world-class Filipino products, the creation of a more attractive investment environment and high-quality employment opportunities, and sustained long-term productivity growth and improvements in the Filipinos’ quality of life.

Other Resource Speakers during the NatCon were Mr. Rene “RJ” Ledesma, Honorary Consul of the General Consulate of Monaco in the Philippines, DOT Region VI Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez, Dr. Jessica Bercilla from the DRRM and Climate Change Office of UP Visayas, and Professor Arvin Manuel Villalon, a consultant of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts who also happens to be the Team Leader of NEDA’s Research and Development Project on the Formulation of a Roadmap for Davao Region’s Creative Industries.

Co-Chair Milan further reported that of the 38 Resolutions that were passed during the NatCon’s Business Meeting, 6 resolutions emanated from the RDC XI PSRs. The concerns/issues, as submitted by the PSR Regional Delegations, were clustered according to their sectoral themes. As agreed with the Lead Convenors of the Convention, these shall be subjected to further discussion and vetting by the RDCs, through the respective Sectoral Committees, before the same shall be adopted/acted upon by the Full Council. 

The NatCon also featured a Go Lokal Trade Fair at the nearby Iloilo Festive Walk Mall, where various local food and non-food products were showcased and sold not only to the NatCon participants but to the mallgoers, as well. A tour and site visit around Iloilo City and its museums were also included in the NatCon.

The 15th PSR NatCon in 2024 shall be hosted by Region IX – Zamboanga Peninsula.