(Davao City, 21 November 2023).  The Regional Development Council XI, through the Regional Project Monitoring Committee chaired by the NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, CESO II, spearheaded the conduct of the Capacity Building Activity on the Revised Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System (RPMES) Operational Guidelines along with the Revised Guidelines of the Davao Region Excellence Awards in Project Implementation and Monitoring (DREAPIM) on November 21, 2023 via Zoom videoconference and livestreaming on the RDC XI Facebook Page.

A total of 129 participants from the Regional Line Agencies (RLA), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), members of the Provincial, City and Municipal Project Monitoring Committees (PMCs), Electric Cooperatives, Water Districts, and Medical Center attended the LPMC orientation activities.

In her Opening Message, the RDC XI Vice-Chairperson and RPMC XI Chairperson, NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, CESO II, highlighted that the activity is part of the RDC XI’s continuing efforts to strengthen monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities in the implementation of government programs and projects in the Region.

OIC – Director Aldwin U. Urbina of the NEDA – Monitoring and Evaluation Staff, and Secretary of the National Project Monitoring Committee, discussed the salient features of the Revised RPMES Operational Guidelines. The Guidelines was streamlined and expanded to include recent and relevant legal issuances (e.g., DILG MC 2020-070 dated 7 April 2020 on creation of BPMECs, EO 138, s. 2021) and additional discussions on M&E concepts and mechanisms. Whilst, the overall system framework, institutional arrangements and process flow were simplified/enhanced for brevity.

Further, the Guidelines recommended the criteria that the PMCs may adopt in identifying programs/projects for priority monitoring and those needing problem-solving sessions to facilitate the reporting of PAPs and resolution of implementation issues encountered. The Revised Guidelines likewise incorporated enhancements on the preparation, submission, and dissemination of the RPMES reports including updated description/definition of fields in the RPMES forms to be consistent with prevailing policies of/definitions/classifications used by relevant authorities (e.g. DBM), as well as revised the frequency of reporting and timelines of submission of RPMES forms to allow ample time for PMCs to collect data, process forms, and submit reports to higher-level PMCs.

EnP. Mario M. Realista, CESE, Chief Economic Development Specialist of the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division of NEDA XI and Secretary of the RPMC XI, presented the RPMES Overall Framework, Institutional Arrangements on various Development Councils and PMCs in all levels, the Monitoring Process, Input and Output Forms, Frequency of Reporting and Timelines, as well as, the Gender and Development Concerns in Monitoring and Evaluation using the Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines. He underscored the significance of Gender and Development (GAD) concerns in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programs and projects of the government at the regional and local levels. As a guide, the NEDA, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), formulated the Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG) in mainstreaming GAD perspectives in the programs and projects including indicators that measure gender differences in outputs and outcomes in project monitoring systems used, project database with sex-disaggregated and gender-related information, achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment targets, project addressing gender issues arising from its implementation, and participatory monitoring and evaluation process.

Engr. Alexander M. Cabalda, MPA, Chief Budget and Management Specialist of the DBM XI, presented the RPMES Report Forms that require Computation of Physical and Financial Accomplishments and the Procedures for Measuring Project Physical and Financial Performances. The RPMES Operational Guidelines prescribed the preparation of several report forms, including Input Forms that shall be accomplished by the concerned implementing entities and citizens and submitted to the Project Monitoring Committees (PMCs), as well as, Output Forms (RPMC and NPMC) which are consolidated monitoring forms prepared by the PMCs and submitted to the Regional Development Councils and higher-level PMCs. Of the input forms, Mr. Cabalda highlighted the Physical and Financial Accomplishment Report (RPMES Form No. 2) which is used to document the status, physical and financial information on the program/projects, both Official Development Assistance (ODA) – and locally – funded, being implemented by the agency, GOCC, or LGU.

Ms. Laurice Cyl C. Pondoyo, Supervising Economic Development Specialist of the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the NEDA XI, presented the Revised Guidelines on the DREAPIM. As a vehicle for promoting transparent, accountable governance and good practices in project implementation and monitoring, the DREAPIM aims to recognize the exemplary infrastructure and non-infrastructure program/project implemented by government agencies and LGUs which supports Davao Region’s development thrusts and priorities, as well as, recognize the contribution of Local PMCs in project facilitation, particularly in the monitoring of programs and projects under their jurisdictions. Ms. Pondoyo enlightened the participants on the procedures for the DREAPIM awards including the coverage, nomination, enhanced criteria for selection and scope, and forms of awards.  All participating agencies and LGUs for the three award categories shall submit complete documentation following the standard set of general guidelines, while all nominations shall be submitted to the RPMC XI.

Overall, the conduct of the activity has increased appreciation on the importance of conducting purposive evaluations in the public sector in support of good governance, transparency, accountability, and evidence-based decision-making. It also encourages more agencies to become increasingly receptive in gathering evidence, through monitoring activities and evaluation studies, on whether its policies, programs, and projects have achieved their intended development results. With this undertaking of the Council, the true winners are Davao Region’s stakeholders and the general public who will ultimately benefit from the transparent, accountable governance and good practices in project implementation and monitoring.

-Gay L. Valledor, NEDA XI