During his official visit to the National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office 2 on February 24, Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua recognized the sacrifices and hard work of his fellow NEDAns in the past two years of the pandemic.

“Yung papel kasi ng NEDA [ay] mahalaga sa pagtugon sa pandemya. If we are not at the forefront of the recovery, sino pa? That is why I would like to thank all of you who have been helping and working very hard for our recovery,” he said.

To sustain the country’s growth beyond the pandemic, Secretary Chua reiterated NEDA’s emerging priorities for the next Philippine Development Plan. These include smart infrastructure, regional equity, innovation, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“These are very tall orders. The only way we can achieve this is if NEDA is the best that it can be. As NEDAns, we should always be improving ourselves,” he said.

In line with this, Secretary Chua cited the NEDA bill to strengthen the agency. He also highlighted the need to improve NEDA’s IT system, create a permanent attorney position and RDC secretariat staff group per region, and institutionalize the NEDA knowledge management processes.

Coming from his Ilocos Region visit, Secretary Chua started his Cagayan Valley Region official visit via Claveria on February 23. He took the Apayao – Kalinga route before proceeding to Tuguegarao, Cagayan. He was accompanied by Regional Development Group Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla.

Secretary Chua also conducted an aerial survey of the irrigation projects in Chico River; and the flood mitigation and dredging projects of the Regional Build-Back-Better Task Force in Brgy. Buntun, Tuguegarao City; Brgy. Dummun, Gattaran; and Brgy. Bangag, Lallo in Cagayan.