Press Release
July 29, 2013

Drilon: Provinces need to take more active role in national development plan

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today called for more active participation of provinces in crafting development strategies and investment plans.

Speaking at the launching of the 2012 Philippine Human Development Report, Drilon said he agrees that the greater weight must be put on the role and participation of the provinces in the formulation of national development strategies and investment plans.

Drilon also said that he agrees with the report that the province is a crucial bridge between parochialism and centralization.

"I must point out that there are provinces that are not large enough to play a critical role in an integrated and connective approach to economic development. Moreover, I have observed that provinces, regardless of size and level of development, tend to be parochial themselves," said Drilon in a speech.

Hence, Drilon said there is a need for strengthening the regional planning and development councils (RDCs) in order to spur economic and social progress and make growth more inclusive.

"As highlighted in the 2012 HDN Report, there is a need to strengthen our local governments and, I must add, our regional development councils. The health and wealth of the LGUs truly matter in the lives of our people. Thus, we have to consistently arm the LGUs not just with resources, but with technical support as well," stressed Drilon.

He, lamented the inadequate structure and powers of the RDCs as evident in the way the plans submitted by the sectors to the council are perfunctorily approved, without much of an analysis or debate.

"'Bahala na sila sa itaas' (let the officials take charge) is what one hears when the RDC cursorily endorses a program or a project," said Drilon.

"While the Regional Development Councils (RDCs) can make a big difference in the successful formulation of development plans, and implementation and integration of viable programs on the regional level, today, it is taken for granted," he added.

Drilon is proposing for the National Economic Development Authority to conduct a reexamination of the RDCs present structure and powers in order that the RDCs to become more responsive to the need for an integrated planning at the local, regional and national level.

"We need to consolidate the inputs from our local government colleagues, the private sector and civil society, so that Congress and the national government agencies are reading from the same page of the development playbook," said Drilon.

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