With Bicol Region reeling from the aftermath of disasters in late 2006, the updating of the Bicol Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2008-2010 becomes imperative as it hopes to muster new development strategies and forge new partnerships to achieve its goal of
reducing poverty by 2010.
The backdrop against which the RDP was updated punctuates the urgency to respond to the challenges and opportunities brought by Bicol's inclusion in the tourism hub of the Central Philippines and in meeting the Arroyo administration's priorities for 2008. A more important realization in the updating process is to scale up efforts to make our development plans attuned with disaster risk reduction strategies so that we can optimize the development gains achieved by the economy on a sustained fashion. Mainstreaming risk management in the design and implementation of development programs and initiatives both by government and private sector calls for a deliberate and conscious effort, and above all, political will.
More private sector engagement in catalytic programs and initiatives require fundamental reforms especially in governance. The key to achieving our objectives and targets does not only rely on the provision of funding support for the region's identified major programs and projects, but in ensuring that there is an efficient and judicious utilization of these resources for the ultimate benefit of our fellow Bicolanos. This is where core values formation becomes a critical rallying point if we really want to grapple poverty.
Conscious of the need to engage the ownership of the Plan by stakeholders, the NEDA Regional Office 5 undertook public consultations in all provinces of Bicol to generate the widest possible participation from all sectors. The implementation of the updated Regional Development Plan is surely confronted with a lot of challenges but it is also afforded with a host of opportunities for improvement.
We, therefore, have high hopes that with the RDP, strong macroeconomic fundamentals and dynamic leadership, it will ultimately usher a new platform of governance for Bicol's development.