BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Negros Occidental rejoined the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Western Visayas (Region 6) during its 3rd quarter meeting in Kalibo, Aklan, on Friday, September 8.
It was the first time the province joined the council meeting after the abolition of Negros Island Region (NIR) on August 9.
RDC-6 chairperson and Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao said during the meeting that a series of consultation meetings were held in the past weeks to fasttrack the integration of Negros Occidental to Western Visayas.
She also said that RDC-6 will conduct a dialogue with the local officials and the private sector in Bacolod on September 15.
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr and Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia will present their respective development agenda and proposed projects during the meeting next week. (READ: Contractuals will be worst hit by dissolution of Negros Island Region)
The regional directors of line agencies are also expected to provide immediate response and feedback on projects that can be pursued and programmed in the next 5 years.
Cadiao said she will preside the dialogue "to show to the local officials of Negros Occidental that we in the RDC-6 are committed to provide them full support in the pursuit of their development agenda and in pushing for their major development projects."
Negros Occidental Provincial Planning and Development Officer Maria Lina Sanogal, who represented Marañon in the meeting, said the RDC-6 chairperson expressed her full support for the Negros Occidental Development Agenda and committed to push for major development projects in the province.
The dissolution of Negros Island reverted Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental to Western Visayas and Central Visayas, respectively.
Meanwhile, Cadiao said RDC-6 will play a significant role in integrating and directing the cohesive growth in the Visayas area.
“We will be looking into infrastructure and economic plans, among others, that can be undertaken jointly or separately yet with a unified goal, answering the challenges faced by our country, amidst the opportunities presented by the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration,” the governor said.
Cadiao stressed that the feasibility study on the proposed inter-island link bridges in the Visayas, power connectivity, and plans for increasing air and sea transport connectivity within the Visayas region and with other parts of the country are “our priorities.”
“These will be undertaken on top of our development programs, projects, and activities for Western Visayas,” Cadiao said as she asked for support and cooperation from the body.
Private sector representatives in Negros Occidental and Iloilo also took their oath as members of RDC-6 during the Friday meeting. – Rappler.com