On 22 February 2021, the 10 of the 13 Private Sector Representatives of the 16th Central Luzon Regional Development Council convened via videoconferencing.  PSRs in attendance were Dr. Reynato Arimbuyutan, Mr. Renato Romero, Engr. Severino Santos, Mr. Casiano Supan, Ms. Elena Tesoro, Mr. Hilaron Patawaran, Ptr. Romel Vallejo, Mr. Zacarias Bodoy, Ms. Amanda Battad and Dr. Francisco Villanueva.

The meeting commenced with presentation of the RDC Technical Secretariat on NEDA’s role in the regional development planning and policymaking process. It proceeded with a discussion on the strategic thrusts and activities that the PSRs will undertake in the current year, including their active participation to the 12th RDC PSRs National Convention slated in April 2021 and is currently being organized by their counterparts in Caraga Region.

In the same meeting, the PSRs tackled the important issues concerning health and socioeconomic recovery. PSR Romero said that there is a need to relax the community quarantine measures in country to (i) allow businesses to resume their operations while adhering to minimum health protocols, and (ii) permit the labor market to make a strong rebound.  To this end, the PSRs adopted a resolution supporting the move of the national government to gradually allow reopening of the economy, while mindful of public health and safety. Such action will help address the growing rate of hunger, poverty, joblessness, and income loss that arise from the pandemic.

RDC III Vice-Chairperson and NEDA 3 OIC Regional Director Agustin C. Mendoza remarked that the initiative of the PSRs in the region is consistent with the thrust of the National Action Plan (NAP) Against COVID-19 Phase 3 of the government. He expressed that NAP 3 is centered on creating an equilibrium both on health safety and economic recovery. He further stated that government is currently strengthening its Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate strategy in order to breathe life into and gradually open the economy.

In closing, RDC III Secretary and NEDA 3 OIC Assistant Regional Director expressed gratitude to the PSRs for always being an important partner of the public sector in advancing inclusive and sustainable development for the region and the rest of the nation. 

(Ma. Theresa G. Viola / RDC III Technical Secretariat)