Lawmakers want to be part of region’s policy-making body

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BAGUIO CITY  – Cordillera congressmen are proposing their possible inclusion in the meetings of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera to further strengthen the harmonious relationship among the different leaders and regional line agency officials.

The lawmakers made the proposal to the RDC-CAR officials during the Advisory Committee meeting of the region’s policy-making body held at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City last Wednesday.

Under the provisions of Executive Order (EO) No. 325 that prescribes the guidelines in the operation of the RDCs in the different parts of the country, members of the House of Representatives are considered to be members of the Advisory Committee serving as the overall adviser of the body in the conduct of its activities and in the formulation of its programs and projects geared towards the overall development of the regions.

However, the Cordillera congressmen pointed out the RDC-CAR initiate the possible amendment of the presidential issuance to include them as members for them to actively participate in the deliberations considering that most of their proposed legislations need the formal endorsement of the RDC, but also they can help in defending the budgets of the regional line agencies lodged in the annual budgets of the different departments of the national government.

Based on the guidelines on the composition of the RDCs, one-fourth of the members should come from duly-accredited civil society organizations representing either geographic and sectoral groups as private sector representatives.

Milagros A. Rimando, RDC-CAR vice chairperson and regional director of the Cordillera office of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-CAR), welcomed the proposal of the Cordillera congressmen to be actively involved in the regular activities of the region’s policy-making body as this will strengthen the working relationship of Cordillera leaders and the different line agencies existing in the region.

She tasked the development administration committee of the RDC to formulate its recommendations on ensuring the involvement of the Cordillera congressmen in the different activities of the region’s policy-making body while working out the necessary amendments to the executive order to include representatives to the Congress as members of the RDC in their areas of jurisdiction.

The RDC is mandated to conduct quarterly meetings and the 4th quarter meeting of the region’s policy-making body is scheduled any of the Thursdays in November which will be hosted by Apayao.

Earlier, the Office of the President, through Cabinet Secretary Carlo Nograles, advised both the RDCs and Regional Peace and Order Councils (RPOCs) in the country, to conduct joint meetings to maximize time and resources of the participants.

Since 2016, both the RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR had been conducting joint meetings around the region as both bodies were chaired by former Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan.

By Dexter A. See

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