With Cagayan Valley adopting new quarantine protocols after being placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the Cagayan Valley Regional Development Council (RDC II)  Committee on Development Administration & Communication (CODAC) met on July 22 to discuss the region’s path forward in addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)  pandemic.

The virtual meeting focused on matters related to  COVID-19 response where four major concerns were endorsed to the RDC for approval. Major topics discussed were the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (B2) Program, Cagayan Valley Regional Recovery Program for 2020-2022 (CV-RRP), 2019 Annual Regional Development Report (ARDR), and the updated composition of the RDC II-Executive Committee (ExCom).

Architect Marissa B. Maniquis of the National Housing Administration – Central Office (NHA-CO) briefed the CODAC on Executive Order No. 114 or  the BP2 Program.  The BP2 is the national program of the government towards a balanced regional development. Although the program  is a national government initiative, it stresses  the role of the local government units in attaining BP2 policy objectives that include  empowerment of local industries; food security and agricultural productivity; social welfare, health and employment; and infrastructure development. Mr. Leomar C. Israel, Chief of the Project Development, Investment Programming and Budgeting Division of the NEDA Regional Office in Cagayan Valley (NRO II), also discussed the proposed creation of BP2 Special Committee under the RDC.

Ms. Gina V. Dayag, Chief of the Policy Formulation and Planning Division, discussed the CV-RRP 2020-2022 highlights including the region’s programs in mitigating the impact of the pandemic. The CV-RRP identifies appropriate government interventions and policies to ensure the return to normalcy of communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Dayag also presented the highlights of the 2019 RDR. This annual report monitors the progress of implementation of the Regional Development Plan (RDP). It provides detailed assessment on the achievements made against the targets set in the plan. The report covers the region’s accomplishments and needed actions in terms of enhancing the social fabric (malasakit), transforming towards inequality–reducing economy (pagbabago), and increasing the region’s growth potential (patuloy na pag-unlad).

The proposed reconstitution of the RDC  ExCom  for the term 2020-2022 was presented by Ms. Mageline S. De Laza, Chief of the Development Research Dvision. Emerging and important development trends necessitate the review of the current ExCom membership to make it more responsive to present concerns such as management of COVID-19 pandemic,  implementation of the BP2, and strengthening local governance and delivery of development initiatives. The general role of the ExCom is to act on matters that require immediate attention for and on behalf of the RDC when convening the Full Council is not possible.

The recent Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular No. 14, s. 2020 or the Interim guidelines on appointments and other human resource actions for the period of state of calamity due to Covid-19 pandemic was also discussed by CSC Regional Director Nerissa D. Canguilan.  CSC MC No. 14 identified adjustments due to the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine or ECQ and MECQ. Highlights include the extension of the nine-month validity period on publication of vacancies and the probationary period of new appointees.

The meeting was presided over by CODAC Co-chair RD Canguilan who lauded the NRO II  and the committee members for the good turnout and actual participation of the members. A total of 46 attendees representing 30 member-agencies were present at the virtual meeting.