The NEDA Region 5 conducted provincial assemblies of private sector organizations (PSOs) in the six provinces in the Bicol region. This is in preparation for the selection of private sector representatives (PSRs) to the Regional Development Council (RDC) for the term 2016-2019. The provincial PSO assemblies were conducted in February and March in coordination with the provincial governments and the incumbent RDC PSRs.
The activity sought to: (a) increase awareness on the functions of the RDC and the role of the private sector in the development process; (b) disseminate information on the revised PSR selection guidelines that were approved by the RDC in December 2015; and (c) widen participation of multi-sectoral PSOs in the selection of RDC PSRs. The outputs include a list of potential PSOs for accreditation, a list of potential PSR nominees per sector, and accomplished PSO information sheets and PSR nominee profiles for evaluation.
The provincial PSO assemblies served as venue for both the PSO representatives and the RDC secretariat to raise and address concerns related to the participation of the private sector in regional development undertakings. The major concerns raised were the limited sectoral representation in the RDC, lack of support from local government units and agencies in private sector-initiated activities, and limited representation of RDC PSRs in local development bodies.
The above concerns point to the need for the geographic RDC PSRs to collaborate with multi-sectoral private organizations within their respective areas and for the sectoral RDC PSRs to coordinate with private organizations within their respective sectors and across provinces. The PSOs were encouraged to organize provincial PSO networks to serve as channel for issues emanating from the provinces to be raised to the RDC and conversely, for regional concerns to be cascaded down to the provinces. The conduct of provincial PSO assemblies on a regular basis was encouraged as a mechanism for stronger vertical linkages between the regional and provincial levels.
The activity was an opportunity for NEDA Region 5 as RDC secretariat to inform and encourage the PSO representatives to participate in the upcoming preparation of the successor regional development plan and other multi-sectoral consultations with the private sector on regional development concerns. It was also an opportunity for the incumbent RDC PSRs to share their experiences as RDC members with their fellow PSRs.