BACOLOD City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez took oath as the new Regional Development Council (RDC) - Western Visayas chairperson Tuesday, December 6, 2022.

The oath-taking was held during orientation on the mandates and functions of RDC and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in Western Visayas at L’Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City.

Joined by his wife Nikki Benitez, the mayor took oath before Regional Trial Court, Branch 49 Presiding Judge Juvy Dioso.

It was witnessed by Neda-Western Visayas Board of Directors, city councilors, department heads, and barangay officials.

As the appointed RDC-Western Visayas chair, Benitez then presided over the council meeting attended by Neda Officer-In-Charge Regional Director Engineer Arecia Casing who is the council vice chair, and Neda Assistant Regional Director Cynthia Lumampao.

The Neda is the government’s independent socioeconomic planning body that serves as the technical secretariat of RDC, coordinates the formulation and implementation of the regional plan, provides technical assistance in identifying and developing programs and projects, evaluates and reviews proposed programs and projects for consideration by the council.

Furthermore, the governing body monitors and assess project implementation in the region, and coordinates with regional offices and local government units in the regions performance of their tasks.

Among the functions, powers and responsibilities of the RDC chair include presiding over the meetings of the council, and requesting any agency, individual member of the council, sectoral committee or any instrumentality attached to the council to perform other functions as the council may deem necessary provided that such functions are within its mandates.

The chair is also authorized to accept donations, contributions, grants, bequests or gifts in cash or in kind from RDC members, foreign governments, international offices, private entities, or any individual for purposes relevant to regional development and submit for approval of the council a program for its utilization.

He may call the attention of implementing agencies and local government units to implementation problems as identified and deliberated upon by the council with the end in view of instituting corrective measures.

The RDC chair supervises the monitoring of the implementation of major interprovincial and region wide development programs, projects and activities; when called upon, represent the region in Cabinet meetings and budget review activities at the national level; and direct the formulation of a comprehensive regional development plan and preparation of a system of investment programming activities at the national level.

He will also submit to the President through the Neda Board regional plans, regional investment programs, annual development reports and other documents on the region as approved by the council.

Other functions include creation of an ad hoc committees as may be required; review, revise, and approve all policy recommendations, plans, programs and projects originating from the Technical Staff before submission to the council; and supervise administrative operations including disbursements of any fund of the council subject to the usual accounting and auditing procedures and submit a report thereon to the council. (PR)