CITY MAYOR Lucy Torres Gomez may no longer just be focusing on developing Ormoc City but has now set her eyes on promoting socio-economic projects in the whole Eastern Visayas region.

This came after President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. picked her to chair the Regional Development Council in Eastern Visayas (RDC VIII) for the 2022-2025 term of office.

Marcos chose Gomez from among the five local chief executives that were nominated for the position that included former Energy Secretary and Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, Maasin City Mayor Nacional Mercado, Baybay City Mayor Jose Carlos Cari and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, a cousin of the president.

Marcos also appointed Leo Christian Lauzon as the new RDC VIII Co-Chairperson. Lauzon is the private sector representative in the council for persons with special concerns including persons with disability, women, youth, children and senior citizens.

“I express my deepest gratitude to Pres. Bongbong Marcos for the honor and opportunity bestowed on me as chairperson of the Regional Development Council VIII,” she said in a statement. “I believe that regional development must be a coordinated effort that plays on each LGU’s area of strength,” she added.

Mayor Gomez said she would focus on promoting key industries such as agriculture and tourism. “I look forward to serving the region by promoting socio-economic projects that will fuel our keystone industries, most especially agriculture and tourism,” she stated.

National Economic Development Authority regional director Meylene Rosales informed Gomez of her appointment in a letter dated October 21, 2022. Gomez will replace former Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla for the post.

“We are truly happy over the honorable Mayor’s appointment, knowing fully well of her sincere commitment to help RDC VIII deliver its mandate of accelerating the socioeconomic development of Eastern Visayas,” Rosales stated in her letter.

RDC is the highest policy making body that sets and coordinates all economic and social development efforts in the region. It also identifies priority projects in the region for inclusion in the national budget.

Membership in the council includes heads of national government agencies in the region, provincial governors, city mayors, and presidents of the league of municipalities.

RDC also has 15 private sector representatives (PSRs) to be part of the region’s highest policy making body in the next three years. The RDC serves as the counterpart of the NEDA Board at the subnational level. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail October 24-30, 2022 issue)