City of Koronadal, South Cotabato The Urban and Regional Planning graduate students of the University of the Philippines-Mindanao Campus visited the NEDA Regional Office XII for an orientation on the development planning process on April 05, 2019.

The objective of the orientation was for the graduate students to have first-hand exposure on the real planning scenario on the ground in order to imbue in them the values and virtues demanded of those who have the responsibility to plan for the future.

The graduate students were led by Professor Rene S. Paraba, and the President the UP Mindanao Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Students class president,  Arch. Junel Andrew M. Sayon. They were welcomed by Regional Director Teresita Socorro C. Ramos and the members of the NEDA XII Management Team.

RD Ramos expressed her appreciation and gratitude to the team for choosing the Region and NEDA XII as the locale of their study and benchmarking. “Thank you for allowing NEDA XII to share and promote what NEDA is, what we are doing, and what SOCCSKSARGEN Region has to offer towards attaining the “matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay para sa lahat by the year 2040 ” were the welcoming words of RD Ramos to the team.

EnP Romel Patrick E. Tanghal, the Chief Economic Development Specialist (CEDS) of the Policy Formulation and Planning Division (PFPD), presented the development process focusing on the relationship of different local, regional, sub-national, national plans, and international commitments, among which are the Comprehensive Land Use Plan/Comprehensive Development Plan (CLUP/CDP), Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan (PDPFP), Regional Development Plan (RDP), Philippine Development Plan (PDP), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the AmBisyon Natin 2040.

During the open forum, the students expressed their uncertainties, thoughts, and queries on how NEDA, as the government’s planning agency, was able to coordinate and harmonize the different regional plans of the implementing agencies and the AmBisyon Natin 2040.  They also sought clarification on the planning process, institutional arrangements and effective implementation of the plans. The members of the NEDA XII Management Team were on hand to provide the needed responses.

The role of NEDA XII, in its capacity as the Regional Development Council (RDC) XII Secretariat was clarified, particularly in the coordination, collaboration, and convergence among the agencies to avoid overlapping and duplication of programs, projects, and activities and in ensuring the maximization of the governments’ limited resources.

AmBisyon Natin 2040 was also highlighted as  the collective vision of the Filipino people which was determined through the conduct of a third-party survey. The said vision guides the planners especially NEDA in balancing the policies that will influence social and  economic development with due consideration on its impact on the environment, so that the region’s and  the country’s development would be wholistic.

In closing,  the class president, Architect Sayon, expressed his appreciation to NEDA XII as the forum served as an eye-opener for them to a much holistic and sustainable planning approach. (Gwyneth Grace B. Collado, NEDA XII-PFPD)