Chairpersons of Luzon RDCs and MMDA with NEDA CALABARZON Regional Director Luis Banua as head of Secretariat during the Luzon RDCom meeting. Also in attendance was Mayor Juan Carlo S. Medina of RDC I

The Luzon Regional Development Committee (RDCom) members selected Batangas Governor Hermilando I. Mandanas as its Chairperson, and Bataan Governor Albert Raymond S. Garcia as its Co-Chairperson during its meeting on June 2, 2020 through videoconference. Gov. Mandanas will be Luzon RDCom’s principal representative to the NEDA Board RDCom (NB-RDCom) who will articulate regional development policy concerns of the Luzon island group.

Present during the meeting were the Chairpersons of the Luzon Regional Development Councils (RDCs) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) including Mayor Juan Carlo S. Medina of RDC I, Gov. Albert Raymond S. Garcia of RDC III, Gov. Hermilando I. Mandanas of RDC CALABARZON, Gov. Jose R. Riano of RDC MIMAROPA, Mayor Noel E. Rosal of RDC V, and Chairperson Danilo D. Lim of the MMDA. Present also were the Co-Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons of Luzon RDCs.

This is the second term of Gov. Mandanas as Luzon RDCom chair. He expressed this thanks to the Luzon RDCom members for selecting him again as Chair.

After the election, the Committee discussed their priority agenda from 2020 to 2022. The strengthening of local autonomy was proposed to be one of the priority agenda. The implementation of the Supreme Court decision on the just share of LGUs in the national taxes will enable the LGUs to effectively deliver devolved services on health, social welfare, agriculture, among others. The LGUs must be prepared for this devolution. Gov. Garcia expressed his support on this undertaking given that LGUs are on the frontlines and responsible for ensuring the welfare of their constituents especially during public emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related to the Supreme Court ruling, Dir. Aries S. Macaspac of the Department of Budget and Management gave the updates on the preparation of the Executive Order (EO) on the Complete Devolution Transition Plan. He informed the group that the local projects implemented by National Government are being identified as the basis for the devolution. He noted that while the IRA of the LGUs will increase, there will be a corresponding increase in their expenditures as they take over the devolved services.

The Luzon RDCom also adopted the recommendations on agricultural technology and innovation for high value crops for implementation by all Luzon RDCs. Dir. Milagros A. Rimando of the NEDA Cordillera Administrative Region presented the issues of the agriculture sector and recommendations to increase research and development investments in agri-industry, and institutionalization of new means of agri-marketing and processing using technology to boost the productivity and income from high value crops.

Marlon T. Natividad, NEDA Region IV-A| June 4, 2020