February 22, 2024

The Regional Development Council (RDC) hosted the virtual regional consultation on the successor Cordillera Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028 on Dec. 16, which aims for inclusive and resilient economic transformation.

The RDP is a six-year plan prepared by the RDC with NEDA as the plan secretariat that sets forth regional development priorities, the framework as well as the strategies for 2023-2028.

NEDA-Cordillera Asst. Director Stephanie Christiansen presented the initial RDP targets, which include the attainment of seven percent growth rate in terms of gross regional domestic product by 2028, reduction of unemployment by 4.5 percent, and reduce poverty incidence by 8.6 percent, among others. She also presented the RDP strategy framework.

“What we are speaking here as economic transformation is not only transformation that would yield benefits for the few, for the elite, for the 10 percent of the population but has to be inclusive. It is not only short term but it should also be resilient against any shocks,” Christiansen said.

NEDA-Cordillera Director Susan Sumbeling said the RDP 2023-2028 is the second regional development plan of the Cordillera anchored on Ambisyon Nation 2040, which is a long-term vision for ‘Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na Buhay’ for all Filipinos by 2040. It is also aligned with the eight-point agenda of the Marcos Administration.

“Our Cordillera RDP contains a localized framework with unique development strategies that reflects the unique concerns and challenges of the Cordillera. We would like to emphasize that the RDP if properly implemented, will transform our quality of life in the next six years,” Sumbeling said.

She said the advocacy for autonomy is embedded in the chapters of the CAR RDP. The plan also contains a special chapter to promote culture sensitive governance and development in the region.

The regional consultation is pursuant to the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. during his first State of the Nation Address for a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach in the formulation of the Philippine Development Plan.

It aims to gather information on regional issues and concerns as well as contributions of various stakeholders in the attainment of RDP target outcomes.

Participants of the consultation include representatives from the private sector, youth, academe, civil society organizations, regional line agencies, and local government units.

“We hope that through this consultation, we can enhance the draft chapters of the Regional Development Plan with your inputs and fresh insights on what you think should be our development outcomes for the next six years, how we can achieve them through transformative strategies, and how can each of us, our organization, and our communities can contribute to the achievement of such,” Sumbeling said.

RDC Co-chairperson Edna Tabanda, representing a civil society organization, assured their commitment for the realization of the plan. – Debbie E. Gasingan