Gov. Edgar M. Chatto of Bohol firmly believes that the Regional Development Council (RDC-7) is powerful enough to propel the whole Region 7 to higher development.
Just last Monday, Bohol hosted the RDC 2011 Last Quarterly Meeting which included governors and mayors in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, as well as heads of national agencies and private sector representatives.
The Cebu delegation was headed by RDC Chair and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who left quite early for an appointment with Pres. P-Noy, and was then taken over by Argee Melisimo of the First Consolidated Bank.
Expected “fireworks” between Rama and other Cebu City officials regarding the construction of two proposed flyovers in Cebu blew up in smoke and the meeting ended up, as many people hoped, harmoniously.
“The “much-awaited squabble” was put out in time and the meeting was managed well,” clarified Gov. Edgar M. Chatto of Bohol.
Earlier in Cebu, it was said that Rama insisted on including the Technical Working Group (TWG) report in the RDC agenda that rejected the two flyover projects in his province while the RDC’s Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) has voted against it.
“If RDC Chairman Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama wants to make a fool of himself, that’s his business but he should not drag the entire RDC down with him,” former RDC Chair and Cebu City South District Rep. Tomas Osmeña, said.
However, Rama did not lose heart and said that he will have the matter included in the agenda of the RDC’s next full council meeting on March 29, 2012 in Siquijor.
Meanwhile, Gov. Chatto has brought to the RDC’s attention the three big proposed projects in Bohol, namely: the Bohol Northeast Basin Multi-Purpose Dam for irrigation and hydropower; the small-scale/medium-scale water impounding systems or Small Reservoir Irrigation Project; and the Bohol Northwest Special Economic Zone.
Chatto said that the first would strengthen the position of Bohol in the areas of irrigation and food security; the second would be very important in providing concentration of water supply to certain areas in the province, ducktail the overarching development framework of HEAT Bohol and LIFE HELPS strategies and balance the three districts; while the third will be hitting the economic base of Loon, Calape and Tubigon which are all facing Cebu Province.
All three Boholano resolutions were unanimously approved.
The RDC’s mandate is to formulate policies conducive to the region and make intelligent decisions and resolve issues which will have full impact in the whole region, Chatto said.
“These decisions will then pave the way for a clear blueprint for the next direction of the region,” Chatto pointed out, who then thanked RDC members for holding the meeting in Bohol and added that “Boholanos would never tire of hosting the RDC as long as it continues to look for new avenues for the continuous development of the entire Region 7.”