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   The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) in collaboration with NEDA Region 5 conducted a multi-sectoral forum on volunteerism last October 5 at RDC Hall, NEDA Region 5. Legazpi City.

  The activity with a theme “Forum on Volunteerism: A Vision for the Future” was conducted to create awareness and appreciation on the value of volunteerism; create awareness on the role of the PNVSCA; and to engage multi-stakeholders in the development of a policy agenda and action plan on volunteerism.

  Thirty-five participants from the local government units, private companies and government owned and controlled corporations, regional line agencies (RLAs), private sector representatives, civil society organizations, non-government organizations, and the academe attended the forum.

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   The NEDA Region 5 hosted the opening activity of the 28th National Statistics Month (NSM) on October 3, 2017 at the RDC Hall, NEDA Region 5, Legazpi City. In line with the theme “Facts and Figures for the Future: Statistics for Evidence-Based Decisions Towards Ambisyon Natin 2040, NEDA Region 5 presented the draft results matrices (RMs) of the Bicol Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022 for validation by the government agencies and the provincial and city government units. 

   The draft RMs of Chapters 5 to 20 of the Bicol RDP were prepared following the draft RMs of the Philippine Development Plan and with inputs from regional agencies and government owned and controlled corporations. The workshop aimed to gather feedback on the RM indicators and targets and secure commitment on the targets across the plan period.

   In her welcome message, ARD Edna Cynthia S. Berces highlighted the importance of statistics in development planning and in monitoring the implementation of the plan. As the first RDP that is anchored on the Ambisyon Natin 2040, the RMs shall serve as the yardstick to gauge how far the region is from the desired state articulated by the long-term vision. Mr. Danilo Luceña, chief of the Statistical Operations and Coordination Division of PSA Region 5, encouraged the regional agencies and local government units to support the month-long celebration by hanging the NSM streamer throughout the month of October and conducting activities relevant to the theme. 

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   In celebration of the 15th Development Policy Research Month (DPRM), the NEDA Region 5 conducted a forum on Strengthening Decentralization for Regional Development on September 26, 2017 at NEDA Region 5, Legazpi City. The forum highlighted two topics: (a) the proposed amendments of the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991; and (b) a proposed federal structure for the Philippines. Planning officers of provinces and cities in Bicol, private sector representatives of the Bicol Regional Development Council, and NEDA Region 5 personnel attended the half-day forum. 

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   Atty. Arnaldo E. Escober, Jr., the assistant regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 5, presented the proposed amendments of the LGC. He cited specific provisions that are proposed to be amended, including the issues and rationale for amending them. His presentation was culled from the LGC review conducted by Dr. Rosario Manasan of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies. The proposed amendments, as provided in Dr. Manasan’s review, will be discussed during a national consultation workshop to be held on October 6, 2017. 

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   The Committee on Migration and Development of the Bicol Regional Development Council, in partnership with the Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) and with assistance from the Joint Migration and Development Initiative Philippines and the Migrant Forum in Asia, conducted a training on migrant rights advocacy on September 19 to 22 at Dorotea Resort and Spa in Bacacay, Albay. Around 40 representatives of overseas Filipino family circles and other migrant organizations in the region participated in the training that focused on national migration policies, international human rights standards, and international labor rights standards.

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