(Davao City, 31 July 2023) – To support the attainment of Davao Region’s development outcomes, the Regional Development Council (RDC) XI organized the Davao Regional Development Research Agenda (DRDRA), 2023-2028 Virtual Dissemination Forum on July 31, 2023 as a venue to present the Research & Development (R&D), innovation, and technology agenda to various stakeholders in the Region.

Simultaneous with the DRDP, 2023-2028 formulation process, the identification of the priority research agenda for each Plan Chapter was part of the multistakeholder consultations conducted in 2022. Through the publication of the DRDRA, 2023-2028, the RDC XI aims to promote a conducive environment for R&D, innovation, and technology initiatives that fosters collaboration and engagement towards social and economic transformation in Davao Region.

In her opening message, RDC XI Vice-Chairperson and NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, CESO II said that “the RDC XI firmly recognizes the role of R&D as a driver of socioeconomic development. R&D-related activities also foster innovation and technological advancements that enable the Region address particular development gaps, and help our industries and basic sectors remain competitive and resilient”. Regional Research, Development and Innovation Committee (RRDIC) XI Chairperson and DOST XI Regional Director Dr. Anthony G. Sales also gave his Message of Support for the conduct of the Forum, mentioning that “the utilization of DRDRA by the region’s research stakeholders, will ensure that our R&D and innovation efforts are facilitative of Davao Region’s advancement. By utilizing the DRDRA, we contribute in paving the way for transformative changes that address the unique challenges that face our people, while also capitalizing on the abundant opportunities ahead of us”.

During the Forum, DOST XI Assistant Regional Director Mirasol G. Domingo discussed the current landscape of R&D, innovation and technology in Davao Region. ARD Domingo presented the flagship R&D achievements of Davao Region in support of socioeconomic development, including the rollout of Php 233.9 million worth of grants to R&D partners under DOST’s programs. ARD Domingo emphasized to Davao Region researchers and experts that the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda, 2022-2028 and the Davao Regional Development Research Agenda, 2023-2028 are tools that would allow Davao Region to directly address development gaps while also fostering collaborations with the local community.

In the second session, OIC-Dir. Diane Gail L. Maharjan of the NEDA Innovation Staff presented the salient features of RA 11293, otherwise known as the Philippine Innovation Act. Dir. Maharjan introduced to the Davao Region R&D partners the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document (NIASD) which details the country’s 10-year vision and strategies to improve the innovation governance in the country, and firmly establishes the role of innovation as a vital component of sustainable socioeconomic growth. Dir. Maharjan also encouraged Davao Region partners to participate in the NIASD roadshows, and to collaborate with the NEDA in the celebration of the National Innovation Day commemorated in April of every year.

The contents of the DRDRA, 2023-2028 were presented by NEDA XI Chief Economic Development Specialist Lalaine M. Sajelan. The DRDRA, 2023-2028 contains a total of 129 priority agenda, covering Chapters 4.1. to 17 of the Davao Regional Development Plan, 2023-2028. The DRDRA was formulated through the consultative meetings conducted by the RDC XI, resulting to the compilation of priority research topics providing easy access a unified guide for Davao Region’s R&D institutions and researchers.

In his closing message, RDC XI Secretary and NEDA XI Assistant Regional Director Gilberto A. Altura relayed that “the NEDA XI, with its network of government agencies and development partners under the RDC XI, shall remain as Davao Region’s staunch partners in operationalizing and promoting various R&D-related activities ushered by R&D partners in the Region”. The DRDRA 2023-2028 Dissemination Forum was participated by a total of 142 representatives from Davao Region’s R&D stakeholders including the State Universities and Colleges, Higher Education Institutions, R&D consortia, national government agencies, and various R&D, innovation, and technology experts.