The Regional Development Council was created by virtue of Letter of Implementation (LOI) No. 22 issued by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on December 31, 1972 pursuant to the implementation of the Integrated Reorganization Plan of 1972. The Regional Development Council (RDC), was then given the primary task of coordinating the development planning and policy-making in the region.

Over the years, the RDC, or the Council,  evolved to become the highest planning and policy-making body in the region. Its mandate is provided in Article X, Section 14 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which states that: “The President shall provide for RDCs or other similar bodies composed of local government officials, regional heads of departments and other government offices, and representatives from non-government organizations within the regions for purposes of administrative decentralization to strengthen the autonomy of the units therein and to accelerate the economic and social growth and development of the units in the region.”

Subsequent Executive Orders issued by the President providing for the reorganization of the RDCs: