THE Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 has endorsed the Central Visayas Regional Recovery Program (CV-RRP), the blueprint for recovery efforts from the Covid-19/enhanced community quarantine impacts.
The RRP is a multi-stakeholder collaborative effort for ensuring people’s health and well-being, while reviving the region’s businesses and employment towards long-term growth and development.
The CV-RRP was approved during the second quarter RDC 7 full council meeting conducted virtually on June 1, 2020. During the meeting, the RDC approved three interventions proposed by Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap to help mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic pending the full implementation of the RRP.
RDC 7 vice chairman and National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) 7 Regional Director Efren Carreon said the CV-RRP lays out various medium- and long-term strategies to be undertaken both by government agencies and the private sector. Ensuring public health and safety while sustaining economic growth will be the main goal of these efforts.
The RRP gives readers an overview of the extent of the impact—health sector capability, businesses/industries and employees affected, government interventions -- of the Covid-19 pandemic on various sectors in the four Central Visayas provinces.
The RRP, a product of multi-sectoral consultations and coordination, identifies the sectors on which recovery initiatives should focus. These include health, social services, trade, commerce and industry, agriculture and fisheries, services, environment and energy. The RRP also seeks to define the new normal, the ways forward, and what should be in place so the region could be better prepared for future emergencies.
The RRP includes proposed strategies that would ensure that agency-proposed interventions are aligned with the National Government’s Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program.
RDC 7 chairman Kenneth Cobonpue assured that the RDC will work toward the recovery of the region and that efforts will be aligned with the BP2 program.
To restart the economy in the immediate term, Yap proposed to request financial institutions to grant lower rates to local government units (LGUs) that would borrow money for small businesses and water projects so that micro, small and medium enterprises can operate again, and farmers can increase their production toward regional food sufficiency levels.
He also proposed to request the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to allow for the restructuring of loans without penalties or surcharges.
Yap also proposed to coordinate with the Department of Trade and Industry and other concerned agencies to position the region to attract multinational companies that are leaving China and looking into the Association of Southeast Nations countries as possible alternative locations.
“Big infrastructure projects will have to take a backseat... Now, food security and health protection are important. With water, information technology and strong anti-Covid protocols, tourism and business will strongly open,” said Yap. (PR)