Members and guests of the CALABARZON RDC posed in front of their respective webcams for a photograph opportunity [topmost row, from left to right] NEDA Assistant Regional Director Gina Gacusan, RDC Chairperson Gov. Dodo Mandanas of Batangas, DOST Regional Director Dr. Alex Madrigal, NEDA Region IV-A Staff Mr. BenJo Bautista, and Mr. Eduardo Canawin of LLDA; [second row from top, from left to right] DENR-EMB Regional Director Noemi Paranada, NICA Southern Tagalog Deputy Regional Director Rosalie Escobin, PCOL Byron Tabernilla of PNP CALABARZON, NEDA Regional Director Louie Banua, and RDC Co-Chairperson and PSR Engr. Ding Andal; [third row from top, from left to right] Ms. Mary Grace Reyes of Cavite PPDO, Ms. Marivic Exconde of San Pablo CPDO, DTI CALABARZON Regional Director Malou Toledo, SCED Chairperson and PSR Ricky Osmond, and Quezon Geographic PSR Thelma Alana; [fourth row from top, from left to right] 30th SEA Games Champion Ms. Arriane Vallestero, PSR Msgr. Jerry Bitoon, LLPDCPI President EnP. Mildred Purificacion, SLSU President Dr. Doracie Zoleta-Nantes, and PSR Victoria Wieneke; [bottommost row, from left to right] EnP. Benjie Bausas of Batangas PPDO, URS President Dr. Nancy Talavera-Pascual, DBM Regional Director Ruby Esteban, Ms. Amy Collantes of Rizal PPDO, and BatStateU President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo.

Greater involvement of local government units (LGUs) in regional development was pushed by Gov. Hermilando I. Mandanas of Batangas during the 4th Quarter meeting of the CALABARZON Regional Development Council (RDC) last December 10.

Gov. Mandanas who is also the chair of the CALABARZON RDC proposed the involvement and recognition of LGUs in regional development. He cited that in the Regional Development Report, which tracks the performance of the region, the accomplishments or contributions of LGUs are not included. He asked that LGU accomplishments and contributions be included in the next Regional Development Report.

As the main advocate on the increase of the internal revenue allotment (IRA) and local autonomy through the devolution of government programs, Gov. Mandanas longed for LGUs to have more participation in regional development through investment programming, budgeting, and monitoring.

He proposed for LGUs to be members of the regional committees such as the Adhoc Committee in the establishment of a Justice Zone.

And as the LGUs are at the forefront in the success of the Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program, he asked for capacity building of LGUs to prepare them in the implementation of the forthcoming programs and projects.

The recognition of the Council in greater LGU involvement is consistent with the expected enactment of the full devolution of government programs, projects and activities to the LGUs in 2021 and the increase in IRA for 2022. The RDC’s united stance is that LGUs should be fully ready for the greater responsibility to deliver effectively all essential public goods and services.

Benjamin Jose G. Bautista, NEDA Region IV-A | December 16, 2020