July 22, 2024

For the next six years, the Regional Development Plan (RDP) of the Cordillera will focus on mo-dernizing agriculture and agribusiness, revitalizing industries, reinvigorating services, advancing research and deve-lopment, and promo-ting trade and investments.

The Regional Development Council-Cordillera on June 15 launched the Cordillera RDP 2023-2028, which contains localized development strategies to address the region’s unique development concerns and challenges towards achieving the region’s vision of being autonomous with a united and empowered citizens pursuing sustainable development where benefits are shared by all.

The development plan tackles actions toward the transformation of the region’s production sector through modernizing agriculture and agribusiness, revitalizing industries, reinvigorating services, advancing research and development, and promoting trade and investments.

To modernize agriculture and agribusiness, the plan is to enhance agri, forestry, and fishe-ries (AFF) production; expand access to markets and AFF-based industries; and improve resilience of AFF value chains, coupled with legislative support.

To revitalize industries, market production and supplier base must be expanded; move up value chain by improving competitiveness and creating dynamic industry ecosystem; and enhance inter-sectoral linkages.

In reinvigorating service, the strategy is to achieve market expansion; strengthen creativity and innovation in services value proposition; and enhance inter-sectoral linkages.

To advance R&D, the plan is to strengthen R&D and knowledge creation; improve innovation structure; and scale up technology adoption, utilization, and commercialization.

To promote trade and investments, there is a need to strengthen the Cordillera export industry and to increase and target total investments to boost trade, skills upgrading, and sustainability.

RDC Chair and Apayao Gov. Elias Bulut, Jr. said the RDP 2023-2028 is the region’s first step in setting plans in motion to engage stakeholders and generate support for its implementation.

The plan aims for the continued reco-very of the region from the Covid-19 pandemic and other disasters, and for an inclusive, resilient, and autonomous region.

As keynote speaker, National Econo-mic Development Authority Sec. Arsenio Balisacan stressed on the Cordillera’s being a watershed cradle of the north and thus it places sustainability at the center of its development plan.

He said with the implementation of the strategies laid out in the RDP, the region envisions itself to become a renewable power hub of the north while ensuring protection of its environment and natural resources and restoration of renewable energy.

He also noted the critical role of indigenous peoples in promoting environmental protection and despite the challenges; the Cordillera posted a promising growth performance last year with 7.6 percent and also emerged as the second fastest growing region in the country.

Governors Melchor Diclas of Benguet, Jerry Dalipog of Ifugao, Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. of Mountain Province, and James Edubba of Kalinga; mayors Benjamin Magalong of Baguio City and Romeo Salda of La Tri-nidad, Benguet; and representatives from line agencies and private sector partners, among others, expressed their support to the plan with most of them highlighting environment preservation in achieving the RDP goals.

RDC Vice Chair and NEDA-Cordillera Director Susan Sumbeling said moving forward involves advocating the RDP and assisting local go-vernment units in the process and its full devolution of functions and implementation as detailed in the 18-chapter RDP.  – Hanna C. Lacsamana