An Expanded RDC XI Executive Committee (ExCom) was convened via Zoom on July 8, 2021 to discuss the proposed amendments to the Consolidated Bill creating the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority (MDDA). The RDC XI ExCom passed during the meeting Resolution No. 47, series of 2021, recommending the following provisions in the MDDA Bill, viz: 1) Creation of the Metropolitan Davao Development Council (MDDC) as provided for in Senate Bills 2153 and 2157 filed by Senators Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, respectively; 2) The MDDA Chairperson shall be appointed by the President from among nominees to be submitted by the MDDC; 3) The management of the Davao International Airport shall be retained by the Davao International Airport Authority (DIAA), provided that the MDDA Chairperson shall be included in the membership of the DIAA Board; and, 4) Policy oversight on the franchising of public utility vehicles within MDDA’s jurisdiction shall be included among its functions, subject to the official stand of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on the matter.    

The recommendations of the RDC XI ExCom shall serve as inputs to the Senate Joint Committee Report on the MDDA Bill, which is scheduled for deliberation in the Senate Plenary when Congress resumes session in late July 2021. Also approved during this meeting were the following plans/projects: 1) The Davao Region Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP), 2022-2026, proposed by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA); 2) Endorsement to the NEDA Board Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP); and, 3) The implementation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Office XI’s Program dubbed as, REDI for FIRe (Mainstreaming Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Instruction, Research, Extension and Production Functions of Higher Education Institutions in Davao Region).

The Davao Region CFIDP, 2022-2026, shall serve as basis for the development and rehabilitation of the Coconut Industry in Davao Region utilizing the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund per Republic Act (RA) 11524. The MIADP, on the other hand, is a project co-funded by the Government of the Philippines and the World Bank, which shall be implemented by DA in ancestral domains in Mindanao, in partnership with the National Commission for Indigenous People (NCIP), the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the local government units where these ancestral domains are located. Finally, the REDI for FIRe Program is a collaboration among CHED, the RDC XI through its Regional Research, Development and Innovation Committee (RRDIC), and the various Higher Education Institutions and local government units in Davao Region. It is intended to help stimulate technology generation and innovation leading towards increased productivity for local companies and industries.

-Faith L. Cabiles, NEDA XI