The Regional Development Council (RDC-7) has posted a high batting average pertaining to its endorsed big projects being approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board headed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
In just barely six months of the current national administration, the NEDA Â policy board led by the president already approved four flagship or major Central Visayas projects.
Three of them directly benefiting Bohol, the projects were all earlier adopted and endorsed by the RDC under its then chairman Gov. Edgar Chatto.
The RDC identified in its full-body meeting in Cebu City on Friday the projects as the P2.2 billion Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) modernization, Panglao airport design variations that now sum up to P7.7 billion the whole project cost, $450 million Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), and P9.2 billion Cebu International Container Port Development.Â Â Â
The hospital modernization includes the doubling to more than 500 beds the existing capacity of the GCGMH, which upgrading has a parallel support from Rep. Rene Relampagos through his enabling law in Congress.
The modern airport design variations involve the provision of three passenger boarding bridges from terminal building to the planes and extension of the runway to a total of 2.5 kilometers.
Bohol is one of the select Philippine areas for PRDP development interventions, which Chatto said include road and water infrastructure, agriculture enhancement, and the Danajon double-barrier reef for seaweed and eco-tourism development.
Chatto once again thanked the Duterte administration and leadership of the NEDA Board for never failing the Boholanos in all these undertakings that matter to their economy and lives.
Duterte, meanwhile, sent his official and personal wish and greeting to the Bohol governor in a signed Christmas card Chatto yesterday received from the president.
He wished, â€œSa paggunita ng kapanganakan ng Poong Hesukristo, ipagdiwang natin ito sa paraang may malasakit sa bawat isa at taglay sa puso ang bagong pag-asa. Ngayong Kapaskuhan, hangad ko ang kapayapaan, kaayusan at kaunlaran para sa ating bayan.â€Â
â€œMula sa inyong lingkod, sa aking pamilya at sa kapwa ko manggagawa sa pamahalaan, bumabati ako ng isang Maligayang Pasko at sama-sama tayong sumalubong sa tunay na Pagbabago ng Taon,â€ the president greeted the governor.
Next to the president, Chatto likewise thanked anew NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia, who is the former chairman of the provinceâ€™s advisory council, and all other Boholanos in the Duterte cabinet.
The council, which members have volunteered services to assist the Chatto administration, consists of Boholanos who are University of the Philippines (UP) professors and experts in diverse fields.
There are Bohol programs which need national approval to further boost development like the Tagbilaran City port delineation as endorsed by the city leadership of Mayor John Geesnell Yap II and Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso.
Chatto defended and articulated at the RDC the delineationâ€™s importance because it will provide a clear administrative jurisdiction between the Philippine Port Authority (PPA) and the local government unit (LGU) over the delineated areas.
Among the cityâ€™s impact projects for execution in the near Â future are waterfront development, boulevard with greenery and special tourism enterprise zone, plus a modern waste water treatment facility.
These are integral to the provinceâ€™s spatial development framework for the next 12 or 15 years.
The boulevard will not just be an infrastructure so vital to Â economically growth..
At the same time, it will be a symbol of a city vision.
The port delineation was adopted by the RDC as endorsed by the city and supported by the Provincial Development Council (PDC), which the governor heads, until its national approval.
The RDC fourth quarter meeting this year was presided by NEDA Regional Director Efren Carreon while Chattoâ€™s successor as chairman is yet to be known.
The RDC had then endorsed the different proposed bridge projects interlinking the Visayas islands, which were further endorsed by the Regional Development Committee (RDCom-Visayas).
The projects are pursuant to the â€œOne Visayasâ€ vision and long-term Visayas Spatial Development Framework Plan.
The RDCom-Visayas which endorsed the projects consisted of the then chairmen, including Chatto, of the RDCs of Region 6, 7 and 8 as well as the governors of the new Negros Island Region (NIR), which was then yet to constitute its RDC.
The Visayas islandsâ€™ interconnection includes the proposed bridges linking Bohol and Cebu via Getafe and Cordova and Bohol and Leyte via Pres. Garcia and Maasin.
All these proposals have yet to undergo feasibility studies Â ( with a report from Ven rebo Arigo)