The Regional Development Council 2 approved and endorsed major infrastructure projects and discussed several social development concerns during its Full Council Meeting on September 27, 2019 at the Marco Paulo Hotel, San Fermin, Cauayan City, Isabela.

Among the infrastructure projects endorsed include the proposed Tumauini River Multipurpose Project (TRMP) which involves the construction of a high dam that will improve the target service area to 8,200 hectares covering 5,860 farmer beneficiaries, and provide flood mitigation measures along the Tumauini River. The TRMP is among the 75 infrastructure flagship projects of the present administration. The conduct of a feasibility study for the construction of Cauayan City Alternate Route was also endorsed to the Department of Public Works and Highways. This will provide alternate access to the proposed urban core in the City which will unlock and stimulate economic potential within the area and its neighboring towns.

Likewise, to provide mechanism to implement the “whole-of-nation” approach in delivering basic services and social development, the Council approved and adopted the Project Classhome as a convergence program in the region. Said project will improve the access to basic education services of the IPs in three remote barangays of Zinundungan Valley in Rizal, Cagayan. Support from various line agencies, local government units, and State Universities and Colleges were sought for its sustainable implementation. The Department of Education (DepEd) will serve as the lead agency. A Memorandum of Agreement will be entered into between the DepEd and partner agencies for their commitment and support to the project.

Other resolutions passed during the meeting include the endorsement of the Initial Protected Area Plan (IPAP) of the Proposed Sta. Praxedes Protected Landscape and Seascape; support to the RDC7 resolution requesting the Supreme Court to designate a special court to handle expropriation cases; enjoining local government units (LGUs) to provide the mandatory representation of Indigenous Peoples in local legislative councils or Sanggunian; and strengthening, reorganizing and transferring of the Sub-Committee on Migration and Development from the Regional Statistics Committee to the Social Development Committee of the Council.

The Department of Agriculture 02 also presented an update to the Council members on the implementation of the Rice Tarrification Law in the region. As of September 2019, DA 02, in coordination with the LGUs, has already conducted a series of information caravan on the different components of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) in the region. The Farmers’ Cooperative and Associations were also validated for the mechanization component while the allocation of seeds per municipality will be distributed last week of October. In terms of the credit component, the Landbank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines are now accepting application for credit assistance. The short and medium term action plans of DA 02 were also presented during the meeting.#