For its maiden meeting for 2018, the Regional Development Council (RDC) 2 convened at the Cagayan Economic Zone and Free Port in Sta. Ana, Cagayan where they shared their insights on issues along infrastructure, peace and order and disaster risk management.

About 40 of the 63 members of the RDC2 participated in the meeting which was held on February 23, 2018 and hosted by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) as part of its 23rd anniversary celebration. CEZA became a member of the RDC2 in December 1997.

RDC Chair Junie E. Cua, the provincial governor of Quirino, said in his opening message that holding the meeting at the Cagayan Freeport is an opportune time to appreciate the many potentials of the Cagayan Valley Region that remain untapped.

He said that Cagayan Valley has a very strategic advantage given its proximity to other Asian countries like China which is today’s greatest economic powerhouse.

“Greater economic complementation between the Philippines and its northern neighbors such as China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong should be pushed,” he added.

“CEZA can become a great player in this possible economic complementation,” the RDC2 Chair further said. “This way, we can tap Cagayan Valley’s great potential not only as a food basket but also as a strategically located agro-industrial economic hub that plays an important role in this region of Asia.”

CEZA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Raul L. Lambino echoed the same sentiment as he said in his welcome remarks that CEZA envisions to be “a catalyst in the development of Northern Luzon as a full-serviced industrial, agro-industrial, commercial, and tourism enclave and gateway to international markets for the products of East Asia.”

Nine resolutions passed

For this meeting, the RDC2 endorsed nine resolutions approving and/or supporting the following development concerns: the implementation of the Information Management System for the disaster response cluster of the Cagayan Valley Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council; the conduct of a feasibility study for the improvement of the Port of Aparri; the proposed conversion to a national road of a road traversing the municipalities of Lasam, Sto. Niño, and Piat in Cagayan Province; the utilization of the provincial/city Commodity Investment Plans; and the provision of security support/measures during the implementation of development projects.

In addition, the Council approved the creation of a sub-committee on culture under the RDC2-Social Development Committee as well as its work and financial plan for CY 2018.

During the meeting, the RDC2 also welcomed the newly installed regional directors or heads among the Council’s member-agencies to include BGen. Perfecto M. Rimando of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Dir. Jose Mario M. Espino of the Philippine National Police, Dir. Ma. Sarah Buena S. Mirasol of the Department of Labor and Employment, and OIC-Regional Manager Constancio G. Bana-ay, Jr. of the National Irrigation Administration.