Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua and Undersecretary for Regional Development Mercedita A. Sombilla headed north for an official visit to Region 1 last February 21 – 22, 2022.

During their meeting with the staff of NEDA Regional Office (RO) 1 on February 21, Secretary Chua commended the efforts of NEDA RO1 as the agency has been at the forefront of the country’s economic recovery program. “All of you have contributed significantly to help the country recover,” he said.

He also solicited ideas and suggestions to improve the agency’s internal services delivery and foster a more efficient coordination among the different offices.

Secretary Chua emphasized that the agency’s main challenge in 2022 is to help the country recover fully from the pandemic and learn to live with the virus. However, apart from the recovery, NEDA needs to plan for the future. He cited smart infrastructure, innovation, regional equity, and climate change mitigation and adaptation as NEDA’s four emerging priorities to take the country to the next level of development.

Secretary Chua assured that to help the agency deliver its growing mandate, he is pursuing the NEDA change management program and NEDA bill. These aim to update NEDA’s organizational structure and improve the agency’s buildings and information technology and knowledge management systems to enable the staff to be more productive.

On February 22, Secretary Chua and Undersecretary Sombilla were joined by Regional Director Nestor G. Rillon and Assistant Regional Director Irenea B. Ubungen in visiting some of the region’s small-scale enterprises and infrastructure projects.

The official travel forms part of the Secretary’s visits to all the regions to better understand the situation on the ground and help push for regional equity and countryside development.