By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is leading a multi-sector recovery plan as Western Visayas region is poised to gradually open up its economy amidst the ongoing threat posed by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We need to plan out for the new normal and see where do we go from here,” said Ro-Ann Bacal, NEDA regional director for Western Visayas.
“This recovery plan will cover the framework for health, economy, social services, infrastructure and governance,” Bacal told Manila Bulletin Wednesday.
The planning started with an online conference among regional directors of other government agencies, governors, mayors, presidents of academic institutions, business leaders, and other community leaders from Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces as well as the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod.
Aside from identifying critical issues and challenges with the new normal, there’s also a need to review this year’s budget while anticipating the needed changes for the 2021 budget.
“We need to see how we can recalibrate programs and projects based on our new priorities, especially that a vaccine may not be readily available soon,” Bacal added.
While there’s a regional recovery plan, there will also be a plan in the provincial, city and municipal levels as well as plans of each key sector.
Bacal noted the recovery plan must make adjustments based on changing scenarios including the influx of displaced workers from Metro Manila, other parts of the country and even the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who may no longer have new contracts.