ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat – The SOCCSKSARGEN Regional Spatial Development Framework (RSDF) 2015-2045 (2020) Update was advocated by officials from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office XII headed by Director Teresita Socorro C. Ramos and Assistant Regional Director Carmel P. Matabang to the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of the Province of Sultan Kudarat the) on January 10, 2022.

The presentation on the RSDF to the SP of Sultan Kudarat, highlighted the role of the province in the Orbital Heartland Corridor spatial strategy of Region 12 where the Isulan, the provincial capital is the primary growth node. The Orbital Heartland Corridor is also composed of the adjacent towns of Bagumbayan, Esperanza, Lambayong, Tacurong, and Senator Ninoy Aquino in the Province of Sultan Kudarat, and the municipalities of Norala and Santo Niño in the Province of South Cotabato.

During the discussion, NEDA Regional Director Ramos highlighted the emerging role of Lebak, Sultan Kudarat as the secondary growth center in the province as proposed in the RSDF. Director Ramos said several government agencies are planning to locate their provincial branches, satellite offices in Lebak Municipality to reach the other southern coastal municipalities of the province namely Kalamansig, Lebak, and Palimbang municipalities (KALEPA Cluster) in Sultan Kudarat. Thus, Lebak is being proposed in the RSDF as the primary growth node in the Southern Coastal Corridor’s KALEPA Cluster.

Director Ramos requested the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the SOCCSKSARGEN RSDF 2015-2045 (2020 Update) to adopt a resolution or enactment of an ordinance recognizing Lebak as secondary growth center of the province and requesting branches, satellite, and/or extension offices of national government agencies (NGAs), including its bureaus and offices, and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) to locate in the said municipality following the strategies on concentrated deconcentration of the RSDF.

Board Member Delasan, a former municipal mayor of Lebak, thanked Director Ramos, as well as the Regional Development Council (RDC) XII for recognizing the role and importance of his municipality in regional development. He said the plan to locate some government offices in Lebak means that people in the coastal areas would no longer travel long distance to the capital town of Isulan to avail of government services

In her closing speech, Director Ramos expressed her sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sultan Kudarat for its kind invitation and for providing a platform where the Regional Development Plan and RSDF can be presented for appreciation by policy makers at the local level. She also emphasized that under the policy guidance of RDC XII, NEDA Regional Office XII remains steadfast in its commitment of bringing government services closer and responsive to the needs of the people so that no one will be left behind. (Jal P. Octavio, NEDA XII-PFPD)