As legislators are now looking at policy recommendations and adequate governance, the National Research Council of the Philippines emphasized the significant role of utilizing science for policy making.
“Governance is always a shared responsibility between the national and local stakeholders,” said Noel Rosal, Mayor of Legazpi City, during the Regional Basic Research Caravan (RBRC) for Bicol Region held on 20 January 2021 where he presented “Evidenced-based policymaking (EBP) in the city of Legazpi.”
The RBRC – Bicol is the first NRCP activity for 2021 and was attended by over 340 participants (45% male and 55% female), in partnership with DOST Region V and other academic institutions in the region.
Mayor Noel Rosal presents his topic entitled “Evidence-based Policymaking (EBP) in Legazpi City” during the fifth virtual Regional Basic Research Caravan for Bicol Region on January 20, 2021.
In his talk, he mentioned about Legazpi City being first in infrastructure development and economic dynamism for component cities in the country. According to the National Competitive Council (NCC), the city has also ranked as the 2nd Most Competitive City under the component city category.
Rosal credited these achievements to evidence-based policies and practices of the local government and key organizations, being significant ingredients in their development planning processes. “We refer to our “lessons learned” to refrain from committing the same mistakes in project identification to project implementation, thus redirecting funds away from ineffective programs,” Rosal said in his presentation.
The City has organized a Project Monitoring Committee which sees to it that programs, projects, and activities being implemented in the City are in accordance with the plan specifications and deliverables. The collated reports are submitted to the Regional Project Monitoring Committee for discussion and appropriate actions.
“It is important to know if the interventions provided by the City to target beneficiaries have really contributed to the upliftment of their standard of living,” Rosal emphasized. In the year 2006, Legazpi City was able to respond effectively after the Mt. Mayon eruption, in partnership with civic society organizations like the National Housing Authority and Gawad Kalinga. They were able to implement a new resettlement project with livelihood and health and educational institutions.
The City Vision and Core Plans
The City of Legazpi targets to be the international gateway to Luzon and Visayas by 2028. They envision to be known as the Philippine’s top tourism hub offering world-class tourism-related facilities and services.
Rosal said that “the progressive growth of Legazpi City will be complemented by a vibrant, technology-driven and sustainable environment as embodied by a green, resilient and climate-adaptive economy, matched by excellence in local governance, all contributing to a smart, highly committed and happy citizenry.”
The excellence of the City will continue to realize the following targets: 2020-2025 Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan, 2019- 2030 Local Climate Change Action Plan, 2019- 2028 Tourism Master Plan, and 2019- 2028 Ecological Solid Waste Master Plan.
“It really amazed me of what you (the NRCP) are doing to our people,” said Rosal.
Rebuilding Research and Science Capacity
“We step up the ladder of scientific excellence in Bicol Region,” said Rommel A. Serrano, Regional Director of DOST Region V.
The DOST-NRCP has 4,944 members nationwide. However, only about 1 percent of these NRCP members are from Bicol Region. Through the RBRC, the NRCP aims to reach to more researchers, scientists and engineers (RSEs) as well as artists in the region and contribute in their research capacity building and enhancement of scientific productivity of the local science community.
Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, Executive Director of NRCP, announced that the NRCP-implemented program, the RD Leadership, helps in budding research through capacity development trainings and mentoring by its NRCP member-experts. In its first two years, the RD Lead has already engaged 32 institutions in 16 regions, with the help of 16 RD Leaders.
Sumagaysay further emphasized the need to invest in the country’s researchers, particularly in promoting basic research which is the mandate the NRCP. The Council, moreover, funds researches that produce policy recommendations for use by lawmakers and legislators as basis in crafting new bills and policies.
Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay introduces to the Bicolanos the NRCP and its mandates during the sixth virtual Regional Basic Research Caravan.
To carry out their development activities, Rosal calls for partnership with private and government organizations, like USAID and NRCP, that will help Legazpi City in their development planning process.