Regional Development Council (RDC) IX convened its officials and members for its 152nd Regular Meeting on September 10  at Top Plaza Hotel in Dipolog City.

Governor Roberto Y. Uy of Zamboanga del Norte warmly welcomed the Participants.  In his welcome message, he quoted the following Biblical verses: “Proverbs 14:34,  Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people; Matthew 6:33, But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you; and  Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.”  Gov. Uy expressed his hope that the discussions during the meeting would support sustainable development and inclusive growth, and generate resources for the betterment of the region.

Regional Director  Brenda Nazareth-Manzano of the  Department of Science and Technology (DOST) IX, who also hosted the meeting, presented the state of science and technology in the region.  As the leader in science and technology innovation,   RD Manzano  said that DOST is guided by eight outcomes that present the administration’s commitment to the people, among these are the   MSME competitiveness, scholarship program, and disaster preparedness.

RD Nazareth also  highlighted  DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrade Program or SETUP.  The program assists small enterprises via equipment upgrade, training,  and loan assistance, among others. Among the SETUP beneficiaries in the region are the Montaño Foods Corporation in Dipolog City, now exporting products to other countries;  and Wood Tech Builders in Zamboanga del Sur, now with  increased production and sales.

RD  Teresita Socorro C. Ramos of the NEDA Regional Office (NRO)  IX and  Acting RDC IX Chairperson, expressed her gladness over the conduct of the meeting and warmly acknowledged the presence of those present in the meeting such as  Mayor Evelyn T. Uy of Dipolog City.  RD  Ramos said that the National Peace Consciousness Month, Development Planning Week, Civil Service Month, and Family Week, among others, are all commemorated in September.

During the meeting, the following matters were discussed:  (a) report on the 2014 Economic Performance of the Region presented by IDR Ronaldo Taghap of  PSA IX; (b) results of the 2015 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index Survey presented by RD Sitti Amina Jain of DTI IX; (c) Chronic Food Insecurity Situation in the Provinces of Region IX presented by Hygeia Ceres Catalina Gawe, Chief, Nutrition Surveillance Division of the National Nutrition Council; and (d) results of the National School Deworming Day on July 29, 2015 presented by Dr. Joshua Brillantes of Department of Health IX.

The other items discussed by the Council include the concerns of the Economic, Development Administration, Infrastructure, Social, Regional Project Monitoring, and Regional Land Use Committees of the Council.  Moreover, the Council passed 17 resolutions. Among the significant decisions included Resolution No. 62, tasking Infrastructure Development Committee IX to prepare a Terms of Reference for the preparation of Infrastructure Development Master Plan of Region IX; and Resolution No. 67, recommending to the local government units (LGUs) the interventions for the rehabilitation of critical rivers in Region IX.

Other resolutions passed were: (a) Enjoining RLAs and LGUs to review, validate and adopt, as may be applicable, the results of the IPC Food Security Analysis in planning for programs and projects that will address food security; (b) Enjoining CAAP and RPMC IX to spearhead the conduct of an Airport Development Summit; (c) Enjoining DPWH and DOE to fast-track the issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10531 and seek the support of other RDCs;  (d) Enjoining LGUs to create inter-agency monitoring teams for counterfeit goods;  and  (e) Tasking the Secretariat to review different area plans that address river protection-related issues, among others.

The meeting was attended by 33 Council members composed of heads/representatives of 17 regional line agencies, four (4) local government units, eight (8) private sector representatives (PSRs), and four (4) special non-voting members.  Also present were representatives from Mindanao Development Authority, and media, among others.  The Department of Trade and Industry agreed to host the Council’s 153rd regular meeting  on December 10, 2015, the venue is still to be determined.