Top Left: CORDS XI and DBM Secretary Wendel E. Avisado and Bottom Left: NEDA Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla delivering their messages of support during the launching of the DRDP 2017-2022 Midterm Update; Right: RDC XI Chairperson and Davao de Oro Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy and RDC XI Vice-Chair and NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes Lim with Regional Directors Belenda Ambi of DTI, Annabelle Yumang of DOH, PBGen Filmore Escobal, and DSWD Assistant Regional Director Merlinda Paragamac – during the ONE Davao Virtual Presser hosted by PIA XI Regional Director Frances Mae Macapagat (top center)

Davao City – The Regional Development Council (RDC) XI conducted the virtual launch of the Davao Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 Midterm Update and its accompanying documents: the Regional Development Investment Program, the Results Matrices and the Davao Regional Development Research Agenda, also highlighting the Region’s Recovery Program for COVID-19, on August 26, 2020 via the StreamYard platform.

In his welcome message, RDC XI Chair Jayvee Tyron L. Uy encouraged all Davaoeños to remain steadfast amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, “This pandemic must and shall not stop us from realizing this Davao Regional Development Plan. The work continues. The modes of communication for the moment may have changed but we put the same, if possible, greater amount of energy and zeal for the realization of this Plan”.

RDC XI Vice-Chairperson and NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim presented the highlights of the updated Plan and the COVID-19 recovery program stating that a multi-pronged and multi-strategy development approach has been adopted to address the huge challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while sustaining the Region’s efforts to achieve its commitments in the next three years.

Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) XI and DBM Secretary Wendel E. Avisado and NEDA Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla graced the said event.

CORDS XI and DBM Secretary Wendel E. Avisado noted that Davao Region has gone a long way since the start of the Duterte Administration as the National Government’s funding allocation for the Region has improved significantly, from Php 76.4 billion in 2017 to Php133.5 billion in 2020. Most of the projects in the Region are centered on infrastructure as part of the Administration’s Build Build Build Program. He explained, “Projects that were only visions before such as the Davao Coastal and Bypass Roads, the Mindanao Railway Project and the most awaited Davao-Samal Connector Bridge Project, among others, are gradually coming to life. These infra projects will provide better means of transportation as we aim to promote and increase economic opportunities for Davao Region and the whole of Mindanao.” Further, he said that as CORDS for Davao Region and DBM Secretary, he is closely monitoring the Region’s peace and development programs and projects and ensuring that the programs shall obtain appropriate funding support especially for conflict-affected barangays.

Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla shared that the current COVID-19 situation has brought about the biggest challenge to the Government in terms of policymaking and execution of key interventions that seek to balance the protection of the health and welfare of the people and the recovery of the economy. She said that the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) has refocused its objectives and strategies towards creating a healthy and resilient Philippines, taking off from the We Recover as One Report that NEDA has crafted. As the Regional Development Plans mirror the PDP, the Davao Regional Development Plan shall guide the development path towards propelling to rise from the current economic slump. She added, that the launching event is a manifestation of the Davaoeños’ working together for a common goal of bringing Davao Region to a higher level of growth.

The virtual event, mounted in partnership with the Communication for Development Network (a network of public information officers in the region) and the Philippine Information Agency XI, culminated with a presser, ONE DAVAO, hosted by the PIA XI’s Regional Director Frances Mae Macapagat. Present during the virtual presser as resource persons were the RDC XI Chairperson Uy and Vice-Chairperson Lim, Director Anabelle P. Yumang of DOH XI, Director Maria Belenda Ambi of DTI XI, Director Filmore Escobal of PNP XI, and Assistant Director Merlinda Paragamac of DSWD XI.

The virtual launch reached over sixty thousand stakeholders, with almost two thousand engagements, via livestream over NEDA XI and PIA XI’s Facebook pages which were also shared by various national government agencies, local government units, basic and higher education institutions, business groups, non-government organizations and civil society organizations, and other private organizations through their social media platforms, including PTV Davao. Not included in this count are those participating through offices and institutions which put up projector screens for the viewing of the event and those who participated in watch parties hosted by individual social media accounts. Participants to the event expressed their appreciation and interest in the Plan by extending their congratulatory wishes to NEDA XI and RDC XI for providing them the opportunity to know about the directions of the Region, especially in the new normal. The viewers also expressed hope that more jobs will be created and industries established in the rural areas of Davao Region.

The set of Plan documents have been uploaded and can be accessed from the NEDA XI and RDC XI websites.