The Bicol Regional Development Council approved the updated regional development plan during its fourth quarter meeting on December 6, 2013 at the NEDA regional office in LegazpiCity.
The medium term regional development plan 2011-2016 envisions Bicol to be the most livable region in the country. This means that poverty is significantly reduced; adequate high paying jobs and livelihood opportunities are available; facilities, products, and services are globally competitive, and people are safe and secured. Bicolanos do not have to go out of the region to have more decent lives, and those who are outside the region will be encouraged to return.
Towards this vision, the plan aims that majority of the population in the region, especially the poor and marginalized, enjoy the benefits of social development and economic growth. To attain this regional development outcome, the plan targets four sectoral outcomes: (1) productive activities engaged by more people; (2) adequate and quality social services availed by more people; (3) reliable infrastructure facilities and services used by the people; and (4) good governance and sustainable development practiced in the region.
The regional development plan 2011-2016 was prepared in 2010. Halfway through the term, the implementation of the plan was assessed to determine if the strategies, programs, projects, and activities contributed to the attainment of the regional and sectoral development outcomes. Provincial and regional consultations were held among government agencies, local government units, private sector and civil society organizations, the academe, media, and other stakeholders in the region.
For the period 2014 to 2016, the plan seeks to address the following challenges: (1) generating high quality jobs by reducing the cost of doing business and promoting more investments in agribusiness, manufacturing, export industries, and tourism-related businesses; (2) attaining the MDG targets on education, health, and sanitation; (3) improving the access to education, health, housing, and social welfare services especially by the poor and marginalized; (4) spending more on infrastructure programs and projects and encouraging private sector participation; and (5) improving competitiveness and capability of local government units in local legislation, revenue generation, resource allocation and utilization, land use management, and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
Alternative strategies and additional programs, projects, and activities were identified and proposed by stakeholders to address these challenges.