LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera bared the major accomplishments of government agencies in the implementing the region’s medium-term development plan 2010-2015 that contributed to significant improvements in the socio-economic life of the people and the state of infrastructure development.
Milagros A. Rimando, regional director of the Cordillera office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) and RDC-CAR vice chairperson, cited one of the major accomplishments of the region is the regional economic growth of 2.1 percent average per year between 2010-2015 while the unemployment dropped from 5.1 percent in 2010 to 4.8 percent in 2015.
She claimed the number of jobs generated during the period was approximately 34,000 based on statistics from the labor department.
Further, she added the quality of employment improved with an increase in the number of wage and salary workers and own-account workers, a reduction in the number of unpaid family workers, and an improvement in the poverty situation. On the other hand, Rimando explained the growth of the services sector exceeded that of industry and its share of the gross regional domestic product significantly increased.
The RDC-CAR official underscored preparation and strengthening of micro-, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) sector for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic integration with priority given to coffee industry cluster was enhanced by various agencies and local governments.
According to her, competitiveness among local governments improved with the streamlining of their business permit and licensing systems (BPLS) with 54 local governments participating in the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI).
Aside from the recovery of tourist arrivals during the 5-year period, Rimando reported the enhanced competitiveness of the agriculture and fisheries sector with the projected 100 percent sufficiency for rice, white corn, roots and tuber crops, vegetables.
Ms. Rimando also reported on the improved fruit sufficiency and sustained beef sufficiency maintained with a steady increase in irrigation development from 46.4 percent of the potential irrigable area in 2010 to 51.2 percent in 2015. More importantly, Rimando emphasized infrastructure development regionwide accelerated with the length of paved roads increased from 46.6 percent in 2010 to 70.94 percent in 2015 coupled with the improvement in broadband coverage.
She claimed there was also an improvement in hydropower production and the energy contribution to the Luzon grid as well as the expansion of rural electrification service coverage coupled with the improved service delivery and participatory governance with increased engagements with civil society organizations and other stakeholders. Rimando also claimed there was an improvement in health and nutrition status with lower maternal mortality, infant mortality and underweight nutrition rates and improved education status, particularly simple and functional literacy rates. By HENT