The National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office 2 rallied the commitment of the participants from regional line agencies, local government units, NGOs/POs, academe, and students to support the comprehensive national and regional development plans in the recently conducted Virtual Caravan on the Updated Philippine and Cagayan Valley Regional Development Plans 2017-2022 on April 21. With the theme, “Tayo na, Bumangon para sa AmBisyon!”, 151 participants pledged support to the Filipino people’s collective aspiration for a “matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay para sa lahat.”

NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon discussed the updates on the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) highlighting the strategies towards a healthy and resilient Philippines. In particular, the updated PDP contains five major programs designed to build the resilience of individuals, families, business, government, and society under the new normal: (1) health system improvement, (2) food security, (3) learning continuity, (4) digital transformation, and (5) regional development, through the Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa Program.

The PDP’s regional counterpart, the Cagayan Valley Regional Development Plan (CVRDP) as well as the COVID-19 Regional Recovery Plan were discussed by Ms. Gina V. Dayag of NEDA RO2.  The presentation took off with the current economic outlook of the region which showed a slow economic growth due to negative growth and unemployment. This was followed by the region’s key development strategies and recovery efforts in place to address the effect of the pandemic and to help the region restart its social and economic activities.

In response to the presentation of the comprehensive plans, the Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry, led by Regional Technical Director Roberto C. Busania and Regional Director Leah Pulido-Ocampo, respectively, shared the programs and projects of their agencies in support of the CVRDP. Along with this, they also gave a summary of their major and laudable accomplishments.

With digital transformation as one of the five major programs of the Updated PDP, Mayor Jefferson P. Soriano of Tuguegarao City introduced the current initiative of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Council of the City which is the digital transformation of the city through the Technology Ecosystem Development (TED) Plan. Tuguegarao city is the first in the country to implement the TED plan.

The RDC2 Private Sector Representative Mr. Cloyd C. Velasco also shared the programs initiated by the private business sector under the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This includes the Cagayan Valley Business Convergence Program, Pinas Muna Initiative with the DOT, Innovations and Intellectual Property Programs, to name a few.

Another interesting and timely topic discussed was the Philhealth’s implementation of the Universal Health Care Program in the region which was presented by Philhealth Region 2 Regional Vice President Danilo M. Reynes. The Universal Health Care Act institutes reforms in the health care sector including the coverage of every Filipino to the National Health Insurance Program. He also shared Philhealth’s current undertakings and members’ hospitalization benefits to ease the members’ burden during this difficult time.

All participants committed to support and help in promoting the PDP and CVRDP to instill public awareness.   The Updated PDP is the first medium-term plan geared towards a long-term vision – the AmBisyon Natin 2040.