LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Office in Bicol fully supports the Bicol Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023-2028 which was introduced by the Regional Plan Advocacy Committee (RPAC) and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA 5) during the Inaugural Provincial Roadshow on March 22, 2024 at Albay Astrodome, this city.

According to NEDA 5 OIC Regional Director and RDC Vice Chairperson Edna Cynthia S. Berces, the RDP is the region’s blueprint for economic and social transformation to have a prosperous, inclusive and resilient society. It is the second medium term plan anchored on the Ambisyon Natin 2040 representing the collective aspirations of the Filipinos for themselves and the country, to have a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay.

With the tagline “Sararo, sarabay pasiring sa marhay ng buhay,” the plan envisions that by the end of 2028, Bicol will regain its pre-pandemic status as one of the fastest growing region in the country as measured by GRDP growth of 7% to 8.5% from 4.3% in 2021; 18% poverty incidence of population from 29.3% in 2021, unemployment rate of 5% to 6.5% from 8.8% in 2021 and inflation rate of 2% to 4% from 7.2% in 2021.

The plan is being implemented through the various programs, activities and projects of national government agencies, local government units and the private sector.

The Department of Agriculture supports the 1st pillar of the Bicol RDP which is “Develop and Protects Capabilities of Individuals and Families” as well as the 2nd pillar – “Transform the Production Sectors to generate more quality jobs and competitive products.”

These are anchored on Chapter 6 of the RDP entitled “Increase Income Earning Ability” where DA’s programs include expansion and improvement of available agri-fishery areas for increased production; construction and rehabilitation of irrigation facilities, improving land fertility through provision of fertilizer support, provision of seeds, planting materials, other farm inputs and farm machineries.

Meanwhile, Chapter 7 entitled “Modernize Agriculture and Agribusiness” will be aptly supported by mechanization and modernization of agri-fishery production systems and improvement and expansion of local and international market access, strengthening market assistance services, intensifying product promotion to open domestic and international markets, enticing producers to increase the quantity, quality and diversity of goods, and issuance of policies that favor local food products over imported goods.

DA also supports chapter 16 “Accelerate Climate Action & Strengthen Ecosystem and Disaster Resilience” by increasing the adoption of science-based and climate resilient farming technologies, and diversifying the skills of farm workers.

DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla was represented by DA 5 Regional Information Officer Lovella P. Guarin during the roadshow.

The first leg of the Bicol RDP Provincial Roadshow was attended by representatives from Provincial and Municipal Local Government Units of Albay, civil society organizations, members of the media, students, private sector and information officers of the national government agencies such as DILG, DA, DOLE, and PIA 5. (photo by Hermito Antonio Privaldos – RAFIS 5)