The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) gathered around 140 development partners from regional line agencies, local government units, business sector, academe and civil society organizations during the Cagayan Valley leg of its consultation-series on the mid-term updating of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) on July 19, 2019 at the Valley Hotel in Tuguegarao City. The PDP consultation-series across the country’s 17 regions aims to generate regional issues and concerns that require action at the national level.

In his opening remarks, Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba mentioned the need to spur economic development in Region 2 by taking advantage of its proximity to the overseas markets of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and China. Capitalizing on the region’s huge potential in agriculture, it should embark in more agri-based manufacturing and processing activities, the governor said. He then gave emphasis on the reopening of the Port of Aparri as a potential development opportunity for the region as a whole, given its huge impact and role in bringing about economic activities.

“Two years into the implementation of the PDP 2017-2022, a number of critical and broad-based reforms have been put in place. Much-awaited reforms are finally taking root”, said Assistant Secretary Mercedita A. Sombilla of the NEDA-Regional Development Office. She also presented an overview of what has been accomplished over the last three years in terms of reaching the PDP targets. NEDA Regional Director Dionisio C. Ledres, Jr. as well shared Region 2’s political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental trends and development that will likely impact the region in the medium-term.

Among the development concerns raised by the participants during the workshop session include the need to improve productivity and resiliency of agriculture, creation of industries, making graduates of higher education institutions and vocational courses become entrepreneurs, strengthening support to micro, small and medium enterprises, ensuring peace and order to improve the investment climate, addressing infrastructure gaps, achieving wider access to quality basic services, maintaining ecological integrity, clean and healthy environment, increasing resiliency of communities, and enhancement of administrative capacities and service delivery systems or regional and local governance, among others.

The consultation was spearheaded by the twelve Planning Committees (PCs) organized by NEDA. These are the PCs on Economic Development, Human Capital Development, International Migration and Development, Infrastructure Development, Macroeconomic Policy, National Competition Policy, Citizen-centered, Clean and Efficient Delivery of Public Goods and Services, Administrative Justice, Peace Security and Public Order, Cultural Awareness, Ecological Integrity, and Technology and Innovation.