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PIA Press Release

Private sector urged to influence gov't to think like entrepreneurs

Davao City (17 February) -- Mr. Jose Ma. "Joey" A. Concepcion III, Presidential Consultant on Entrepreneurship and founder of "GoNegosyo", addressed one hundred twenty-nine (129) participants as keynote speaker of the 3rd Regional Development Council Private Sector Representatives National Conference (RDC PSR NatCon).

This event was conducted on 11-13 February 2010 at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, Lanang, Davao City.

In the Welcome Remarks delivered by Councilor Peter Laviña in behalf of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, emphasis was given on recognizing the pivotal role of the private sector in regional development. On the other hand, in her message to the participants, OIC-DDG Marcelina E. Bacani of the NEDA-Regional Development Office lauded RDC XI for being the only RDC in the country that has a Chairperson coming from the private sector, in the person of Atty. Jesus V. Ayala, who served the Council for 20 years.

She highlighted the leadership role of PSRs in the Council which makes them co-equals with the government sector, as well as their valuable contributions to advocating improvements in development plans, policies, and program and project implementation throughout the years.

Bacani then called upon the PSRs to continue to actively and quickly respond to emerging development challenges, especially on the issue of climate change. Mr. Louis Rabat, Conference Chair, also appreciated RDC XI's move to put emphasis on private sector representation in the RDC based on the priority industries of the region.

This gave the present pool of PSRs in RDC XI a major role in steering regional development being actors in these industries considered vehicles for regional growth.

Speaking before the private sector participants, Mr. Concepcion said that one should overcome fear in order to succeed. This he relates from his family's experience in battling company giants like Coca-Cola and Nestle to garner a sizeable market share for Selecta.

He emphasized that the key is having the "right attitude", by becoming successful entrepreneurs through passion, perseverance and optimism. He then shared that the success of Go Negosyo in alleviating poverty by providing income and jobs for the Filipinos is an example of effective private-public sector partnership. He challenged the private sector representatives to contribute to the solution of reducing graft and corruption by fighting poverty. He then encouraged them to "influence the government to think more like entrepreneurs" so that there will be more jobs and more income as he believes that no Filipino is destined to be poor.

The Conference was also graced by resource persons from varied fields of expertise. Judge Dolores L. Español of Transparency International talked on "PSRs: Sentries of Good Governance"; Assistant Director Kenneth V. Tanate of NEDA Insfrastructure Staff made a presentation on "Public & Private Sector Partnerships: Modalities and Best Practices"; Assistant Secretary Leonilo B. Lariosa of the DoE discussed "Revisiting the Power Situation: Prospects & Opportunities for Private Sector Investments"; and Mr. Ted Padova, Author of Books on Adobe Acrobat and PDF, presented "The State, Prospects & Requirements of E-Commerce in the Philippines with Focus on Promoting On-line Transactions".

Another highlight of the Conference was the exposure of participants to field visits of Davao Region's Industry Clusters, showcasing the industry clustering approach adopted by the region for accelerating socioeconomic development. Particularly, the participants gained insights from visits to the region's banana industry (its main export winner), mariculture park, tourism sites, and best practices of Tagum City Government.

Bearing the theme "The RDC Beyond 2010: Strengthening the Role of the Private Sector", the conference generated a number of resolutions, among which include: organizational concerns - the creation of an Investment Promotions Committee/Sub-Committee under the RDCs, creation of a national association of RDC PSRs that shall be facilitated by RDC III with the current PSRs as founding members, increase in the PSR membership in the RDCs from ¼ to 1/3 of the full council, the inclusion of indigenous peoples and labor representatives in the RDC,

RDC to act as umbrella of other regional bodies, and request LGUs to allow RDC PSRs to sit as members in the Local Development Councils; operational concerns - provision in EO 325 that Regional Line Agency representatives should not be lower than the ARD level, RDC secretariat to recommend guidelines on the process of PSR selection based on the predominant sectors in the region, request for provision of additional budgetary support to Regional Project Monitoring Committees, and preparation of status reports of NatCon agreements and resolutions; and the establishment of PSR communication e-group with RDC III as administrator.

The Conference participants have likewise come up with actions to pursue based on the four technical sessions that transpired. Among others, these included the monitoring of ARTA & Citizens' Charter implementation by government agencies and LGUs, the promotion of disaster risk reduction in development activities, and the pursuance of activities to combat the looming power crisis.

The Conference was capped with the acceptance of Mr. Renato G. Romero of Region III (Central Luzon) to host the 4th RDC PSR NatCon in 2012. He said that the next conference may give special focus on infrastructure. The NatCon has been agreed to be held once every three years with Region VI (Western Visayas) lined up to host the 5th NatCon. In his closing statements, Mr. Vicente Lao, RDC XI Chairperson, reiterated the message of Mayor Rey T. Uy of Tagum City to "Keep dreaming". He stressed to his fellow PSRs not to be afraid to undertake innovations as such is the way towards having wider opportunities and giving more chances for this country to prosper. (NEDA) [top]

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