NEDA Region 5 Director Agnes Espinas presented the Bicol Regional Development Plan (RDP) to the House of Representatives Special Committee on Bicol Recovery and Economic Development (SCBRED) on October 27 (Monday) at the MitraBuilding, Batasan Complex in Quezon City. NEDA 5 ARD Edna Cynthia Berces presented the comprehensive investment programming guidelines being adopted in the region to guide the identification, prioritization, and programming of programs, activities and projects that will attain the development outcomes stated in the Bicol RDP.
The SCBRED meeting was presided by Camarines Sur Fourth District Representative Felix William Fuentebella and was attended by Representatives Ma. Leonor Gerona-Robredo (Third District, Camarines Sur), Elisa Kho (Second District, Masbate), Evelina Escudero (First District, Sorsogon), Maria Vida Bravo (First District, Masbate), and Partylist Representatives Anthony Bravo and Fernando Hicap. Also present were Masbate City Mayor Rowena Tuason, DILG Regional Director Elouisa Pastor, and Regional Development Council (RDC) private sector representatives Jose Medina, Jr. and Alfredo Aquino.
The meeting provided a venue for the SCBRED and the RDC Executive Committee to lay down specific courses of action to address regional development concerns on food security, power cost and supply, and evidence-based local development planning, among others. To promote closer collaboration between the legislative and the executive branches of the regional government, it was agreed that the RDC Advisory Committee, where interested district representatives can become members along with the members of the Executive Committee of the RDC, be held in the first and third quarters of 2015.