To ensure that government programs and projects for implementation in 2018 are consistent with the 2017-2022 Regional Development Plan, the Regional Development Council in Northern Mindanao (RDC-X) held simultaneous sector consultations on Northern Mindanao’s priority programs and projects for FY 2018 on March 9, 2017 in Cagayan de Oro City.
The activity was led by RDC-X Chair and Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria R. Zubiri, Jr.
In his message, RDC-X Chair and Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri stressed on the need to heavily invest in the region’s human capital to provide everyone with equal access to economic opportunities and to support national government’s pursuit of rapid infrastructure spending in preparation for an increasing influx of investments in the next five years.
RDC-X Secretary and NEDA-X Assistant Regional Director Mae Ester T. Guiamadel presented the FY 2018 Regional Budget Priority Framework to ensure that the proposed agency budgets are consistent with the budget prioritization criteria in terms of readiness, relevance, efficiency and effectiveness.
The sector committee consultations were presided-over by Arsenio L. Sebastian III and Lolita B. Cabanlet for programs and projects (PAPs) related to macro and development administration; Emma A. Nieva for economic development; Jaime Rafael U. Paguio and Director Nestor B. Ramos for social development; and Dr. Modesto C. Babaylan for infrastructure development.
About 200 representatives of government agencies, local government units, state universities and colleges (SUCs), and non-government organizations participated in the review of FY 2018 priority programs and projects of 27 regional offices, namely: Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education (DepED), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) , Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), National Housing Authority (NHA), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)-Lanao del Norte/Iligan, PPA-Misamis Occidental/Ozamiz, and TESDA.
The FY 2018 budgets of Bukidnon State University (BSU), Central Mindanao University (CMU), Camiguin Polytechnic State College (CPSC), Northwestern Mindanao State College of Science and Technology (NMSC) and University of University of Science and Technology in Southern Philippines (USTP) were also reviewed.
Sector committee recommendations included the following: (a) Ensure that programs and projects contribute to poverty reduction and are responsive to climate change; (b) Focus on mental health and drug rehabilitation facilities and support services; (c) Provide farmers with an integrated (shelling, drying and storage) corn processing facility with an increased capacity; (d) Include land acquisition and relocation plans for all projects to avoid displacement of people and communities; (e) Provide alternate access routes for road/bridge projects to ensure uninterrupted flow of people, goods and services; and (f) Enjoin Local Government Units (LGUs) to increase the number of force multipliers to augment the limited number of police force.
The final FY 2018 budget proposals of Region X agencies will be presented to the RDC-X Executive Committee on March 13, 2017 for approval and to the RDC-X Advisory Committee (RAC) on March 23, 2017 for support.
To further strengthen budgetary support to the region’s priority programs and projects, Governor Zubiri said the RDC will invite President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and some cabinet members to Region X in April 2017. (Peleta B. Abejo, DRD, NEDA-X)