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Western Visayas needs P380 billion to recover from Covid-19 crisis

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Western Visayas will need at least P380.118 billion in the next three years to finance the proposed projects for the region’s recovery from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

This is based on the Regional Recovery Plan (RRP) for Covid-19 which was approved by the Regional Development Council of Western Visayas during its 2nd Quarter online meeting held on July 2.

The proposed budgets per sector are:

-Economic, P253.286 billion (66.63 percent);

-Social Services, P83.638 billion (22.01 percent);

-Governance, P37.144 billion (9.77 percent);

-Environment, P3.839 billion (1.01 percent); and

-Infra and Transpo, P2.210 billion (0.59 percent).

In a press statement, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-6 regional director Ro-Ann Bacal said they will “provide a blueprint to bounce back and sustain regional economic growth as the region gradually transitions from responding to the Covid-19 pandemic to recovery under new normal conditions.” (https://bit.ly/2Cf2ZBF)

Bacal, also vice-chair for rehabilitation and recovery of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council-6, pointed out that the team which consolidated the plan was guided by the “We Recover as One” technical paper prepared by the Inter-Agency Task Force Technical Working Group for Anticipatory and Forward Planning and is anchored on the guidelines and issuances of the IATF on the “new normal.”

The RRP identifies the strategies that need to be pursued to put in place new norms and sets of protocols in all sectors of society, according to NEDA.

It also calls for a cautious opening of the region’s economy, a redesigning of programs and projects, while consciously aware of the risks in daily activities and transactions.

“To capture the aspirations of the people, a series of multi-level and multi-sector focus group discussions were conducted among stakeholders from local government units, regional line agencies, the academe, and private sector,” the statement read.

The formulation of the Plan started with the generation of inputs from the regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), and state universities and colleges (SUCs).

The RRP was drafted to include the thematic/sectors’ (health, economic and livelihood activity, social services, infrastructure and transport, governance, and environment) assessment on the impact of the pandemic, setting of targets, strategies, and policy agenda including the investment requirements.

Vetting of programs, projects, and activities with focal persons of RLAs, SUCs, and LGUs were undertaken in the process of consolidating the investment requirements of the RRP.

Three-day on-line consultations by thematic area were conducted with heads of agencies, SUCs, and representatives from LGUs and the private sector. The inputs generated in these consultations were taken into consideration in the refinement of the RRP.

The RRP was guided by the framework, defining the long-term societal goal, the medium-term goal, and the thematic outcomes.

Consistent with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and the Filipinos’ long-term vision articulated in Ambisyon Natin 2040, the RRP’s long term societal goal is to have “safer, adaptive, and disaster-resilient Filipino communities that are protected from risks and can cope with and recover quickly from unfortunate events.”