City of Koronadal, South Cotabato – Presidential Proclamation No. 1164, Series of 1998, declares every 4th week of September of every year as Regional Development Council (RDC) Week.

For CY 2018, the RDC week in SOCCSKSARGEN Region was celebrated on September 25, 2018 in Koronadal  City and Tantangan, South Cotabato.  It started with a motorcade around the city early in the morning, followed by a zumba exercise and friendship games (basketball, volleyball and chess) among the Council’s members from regional line agencies, local government units, and private sector representatives.

One of the highlights of the Celebration was the outreach and feeding of 160 underprivileged and malnourished school-going children of Dumadalig Integrated School and Day Care Centers in Brgy. Dumadalig, Tantangan, South Cotabato.   The activity aimed to support the SOCCSKSARGEN Regional Development Plan, 2017-2022, particularly Chapter 10 – Accelerating Human Capital Development.

The feeding program was in partnership with the Region XII Feeding Task Force chaired by the Department of Agriculture (DA) XII and Co-Chaired by Col. Celestino F. Desamito (Ret), the Region XII Offices of the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the National Dairy Authority (NDA) which provided bottled milk to the target school-going children.  A ceremonial milk toast was participated in by the children beneficiaries and the RDC XII members to give emphasis on the importance of milk in our diet.

To sustain the feeding program, DA XII also spearheaded the Launching of Gulayan sa Barangay through a ceremonial planting at the barangay’s designated community garden    (at the back of Brgy. Dumadalig Gymnasium).  Gardening tools and planting materials, such as vegetable seeds and fruit trees were also turned-over to the Barangay Government of Dumadalig and Dumadalig Integrated School.  The National Nutrition Council XII likewise distributed 10 Kumainment fans to advocate healthy diet and lifestyle.

For the outreach program, the members of the Council’s four (4) major  Sectoral Committees, namely: Regional Social Development Committee (RSDC), Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee (InfraCom), Economic Development Committee (EDC), and Macro-economy, Development Administration and Finance Committee (MEDAFC) gave away  school bags and various school supplies like tumblers, notebooks, note pads, crayons, pencils, ball pens, pencil cases, erasers, and pencil sharpeners to the school children.

The RDC XII Secretariat coordinated the donation and distribution of the school materials.   This outreach and feeding program was the first one to be conducted by the Council for more than two (2) decades.

Honorable Timmy Joy Gonzales, Vice-Mayor of Tantangan, South Cotabato, welcomed and thanked the RDC XII and Region XII Feeding Task Force for the conduct of the outreach and feeding program in their area.

RDC XII was headed by RDC XII Vice-Chairperson and NEDA XII Regional Director Teresita Socorro C. Ramos on behalf of RDC XII Chairperson Ronnel C. Rivera of Gen. Santos City.  With her were NEDA XII ARD Noel E. Quiratman, DTI XII RD Dorecita Delima, RDC XII – InfraCom Chair and Private Sector Representative (PSR) for the Infrastructure Sector Alfredo Bronx P. Hebrona, Jr., RDC XII – Economic Development Committee Chair and PSR for the Economic Sector Rolando S. Doria and other member agencies.

DA XII Regional Technical Director Zaldy M. Boloron, representing DA XII Regional Executive Director Milagros C. Casis, headed the Region XII Feeding Task Force.  With him were Ret. Col. Celestino F. Desamito and Mr. Mario Flores of the NDA.  DepEd XII and DSWD XII provided the food to the school-going children of Dumadalig Integrated School and Day Care Centers, respectively, as part of their regular feeding program in the area.

Ms. Lorelie Padrones, principal of Dumadalig Integrated School, and Ms. Evelyn Rufino, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer of Tantangan, South Cotabato, expressed their heartfelt gratitude to RDC XII for choosing Brgy. Dumadalig as the beneficiary of its outreach and feeding program.  (Evie Arabis Cabulanan, NEDA XII-DRD)