The Regional Development Council (RDC) in Western Visayas convened for its 2024 1st Quarter Full Council Meeting on March 19 at Andana Resort in Poblacion, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras.

A total of 119 individuals that include the Council’s key officers and Executive Committee members attended the meeting.

Governor JC Rahman A. Nava warmly welcomed the participants and expressed enthusiasm and positivity in hosting the gathering despite his initial hesitation due to the lack of facility that will serve as venue for the meeting.

But the governor said he cannot turn down the request of the RDC as a show of support to the council that is tasked to lead the regional growth in the region.

The governor added that the conduct of RDC Full Council Meeting in the province only strengthened the aspiration of Guimaras to build the Guimaras Convention Center whose construction will begin this year.

“When we were asked to host this RDC meeting, actually met with mixed sentiments with the Provincial Capitol still under construction we’re wondering where to put the venue of this meeting.

But it strengthened our resolve that we have to push through with our plan to establish Guimaras Convention Center. That plan would start this year. With the construction of the Guimaras Convention Center with the biggest facility or biggest function room which can hold at least 400 people on a banquet setting.

We feel obliged to do this in support of the RDC, tasked to spearhead regional growth in our area,” Nava said.

In the absence of Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez who is the chairperson of the Western Visayas Regional Development Council, Atty. Jobert Peñaflorida, governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)-Western Visayas and co-chairperson of RDC VI, presided the meeting.

The Council has passed 37 resolutions which emanated from the Infrastructure Development Committee, Development Administration Committee, Economic Development Committee, Social Development Committee; Regional Culture, Heritage, and the Arts Committee; Regional Project Monitoring Committee; Regional Sub-Committee on the Sustainable Development Goals; and Regional Research Development and Innovation Committee.

Western Visayas Regional Development Council approved the proposed budget of the regional line agencies and state universities for fiscal year 2025 amounting to Php 308 billion.

The biggest chunk of the proposed budget went to infrastructure (Php 142 billion) followed by the Social Development Committee (Php 122 billion), State Universities (Php 21 billion), Economic Development Committee (Php 19 billion), and Php 2.6 billion for the Development Administrative Committee.

The Council will make the necessary endorsement of the proposed budget to the Department of Budget and Management.

The National Economic Development Authority Region 6 also awarded the regional winners of the Search for Outstanding Volunteers 2023 during the RDC 1st Quarter Full Council Meeting.