(Davao City, 15 March 2016). Representatives from the five (5) Regional Development Councils (RDCs) of Mindanao, as well as, the Regional Economic and Development Planning Board (REDPB) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), convened for the 18th Conference of the NB RDCOM-MAC on March 14, 2016 at the Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City.
The Committee tackled the major issues on the power situation and the distribution of specialized health facilities in Mindanao in line with its mandate to ensure that growth disparities among regions are reduced and that resources are allocated in a rational manner.
Director Irma C. Exconde of the Department of Energy-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (DOE-EPIMB), Mr. Emmanuel D. Abellanosa of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) Mindanao Regional Office and Atty. Cynthia P. Alabanza of the NGCP Corporate Communications apprised the Committee on Mindanao’s power situation. Director Exconde informed that DOE created a task force that would ensure adequate and reliable electric power supply before, during, and after the May 9, 2016 national and local elections.
She added that another task force was created to ensure uninterrupted electric power supply and to secure the transmission infrastructure and facilities during elections whose major accomplishments include the passage of Republic Act No. 10752, entitled “An Act Facilitating the Acquisition of Right-of-Way (ROW) Site or Location for National Government Infrastructure Projects” on March 7, 2016. RDC XI Vice-Chairperson and NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, CESO II enjoined the members to take these matters up in their respective RDCs as it was noted that 1/3 of the power transmission towers in Mindanao are vulnerable to bombings and ROW violations. The Committee recommended to DOE the “Adopt a Tower” Program where concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) and communities are engaged for more concerted protection efforts.
The Study on the Improvement of Health Services and Facilities, spearheaded by RDC X, was endorsed during the Conference. Dr. Leopoldo J. Vega of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and Dr. Bryan O. Dalid of the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC), supported the recommendations of the paper as they believe it is high time for Mindanao to upgrade its health facilities since lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart attack are the emerging lead causes of death in the Philippines. The said policy paper shall be forwarded to the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), LGUs and the NB-RDCOM for support.
RDC XII Acting Chairperson and Presiding Officer Arturo G. Valero said that the improvement of the power situation and health facilities in Mindanao are aligned with the goal of making Mindanao the Philippines’ “Southern Gateway”. (Emil B. Clarito, Sr. EDS) ###