CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – An estimated P272 billion in priority programs and projects for Fiscal Year 2021 were endorsed by the full council of the Regional Development Council of Northern Mindanao on 20 March 2020.
The supported budgets include 115 catalytic projects (P140.415 billion), projects under the Convergence Areas for Peace and Development program (P48 billion), activities targeted for the Sustainable Development Goals (P76 billion), as well as statutory budgets for Gender and Development, Persons with Disability, and Disaster Risk Reduction/Climate Change Adaptation (P57 billion) to realize the region’s goals and aspirations.
Budget allocation for the infrastructure sector had the highest share with P164 billion (60% share) for seven regional line agencies (RLAs). The social sector had 32% with P87 billion for nine RLAs and nine state universities and colleges (SUCs).
The economic sector proposed a budget of P15 billion (6%) for 12 RLAs; and the macro sector submitted P5.5 billion (2%) for 13 RLAs, including those in the security sector agencies.
The body also approved the creation of the Special Regional Committee on the Sustainable Development Goals under the RDC-X. This committee will monitor the progress of programs aimed at contributing to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.
To support evidence-based decision making, four policy research studies covering poverty, education, and peace, security and safety were endorsed. The research studies will be undertaken by the region’s SUCs.
These include the establishment of the Philippine Research Center for Bamboo under the Niche Center in the Region for Research and Development; the installation of a Regional TV Station to be housed in the Philippine Army – 4th Infantry Division Camp; and the construction of the Government Communications Academy in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.
Through the assistance of the Department of Information and Communications Technology-Mindanao Cluster 2, the RDC-X Full Council conducted the first-ever virtual meeting in the country. Around sixty RDC-X members, local chief executives and district representatives joined the video conference.
“We made a big leap today in improving the way we do things through innovation and futuristic thinking, while supporting the government’s effort to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 through social distancing in meetings,” said RDC-X Vice Chair and NEDA-X Regional Director Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño.
The council also welcomed Dr. Modesto Babaylan, its new Co-Chairperson for the private sector, who co-presided over the meeting.
RDC-X Chairperson and Misamis Occidental Governor Philip T. Tan lauded the use of available technologies which allowed RDC-X to continue its policy and development work during the community quarantine and urged the agencies to employ similar means to save on resources.
Earlier in the meeting, DOH-X Regional Director Adriano Suba-an shared brief updates on the COVID-19 measures and status in Region X. Local leaders expressed both concern and support, calling for a region-wide set of protocols to contain the spread of the disease.
This recommendation and related concerns were discussed in the region’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases meeting in the afternoon of the same day. (NEDA-X)