“Let us work together to bounce back from the crisis and build a better future for our country” words of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua in his opening message that stirred stakeholders’ commitment to promote and support the Updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022.

NEDA’s Development Information Staff (DIS) in collaboration with NEDA Regional Office 1 (NRO1) initiated the Ilocos leg of the nationwide virtual caravan on the updated PDP last April 16, 2021 via zoom.  With the theme “Tayo Na, Bumangon para sa AmBisyon”, the event apprised participants on the significant contents of the updated PDP, the enhanced Ilocos Regional Development Plan (RDP), and AmBisyon Natin (AN) 2040.

During the event, a two-part plenary session was conducted. The first part was a live poll to gauge the extent of knowledge and perception of participants on certain matters. Result of the live poll showed that 91 percent of the participants have heard about the PDP even before the caravan, 73 percent on the Ilocos RDP, and 80 percent on the AmBisyon Natin 2040. This shows that a vast majority of the audience knew about the national and regional development plans, as well as the long-term vision of the Filipinos. The caravan served as an opportunity to further educate those who were familiar with the national and regional plans, while also reaching out to those who were unaware about them.  The participants were also encouraged to share their learnings in the caravan to their friends, family members and constituents.

In like manner, when asked if the AmBisyon is realistic, 66 percent said that it is, while the others are doubtful. Eighty-five percent of the participants also believed that the two plans are comprehensive. All or 100 percent of the participants believe that the plans are worth supporting and that participants showed interest on the attainment of the goals by asking how can these be realized. Some also asked if there will be adjustments in the vision and plans, given the current situation of the country which were answered accordingly.

The 2nd part of the plenary session solicited ideas from the participants on how to they will be able to support or promote the PDP and RDP, anchoring on the various development sectors.  They were also asked to suggest ways on how to achieve the vision in their own capacities as public servants, private sector counterparts, and youth-advocates. With this, participants committed to become active advocates of the plans through social media. They also volunteered to include the PDP and RDP as topic in their activities and engagement with stakeholders such as assemblies, consultations, and fora. Faculty members likewise offered to share information about the plans and Ambisyon to their students. LGU representatives also suggested to integrate the plans in the Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs). Some even requested the NEDA to conduct this kind of caravan in their areas, in order to reach more stakeholders. To affirm all of these, a pledge of commitment was recited in unison by the group.

The virtual event was attended by 119 participants via zoom and 84 others joined thru the livestream of NEDA Regional Office 1 – Ilocos facebook page. The active participation of the different regional line agencies (RLAs), local government units (LGUs), academe, private sector, youth sector, and civic organizations made the event successful.

In closing, NEDA Assistant Regional Director Irenea B. Ubungen acknowledged the participants in their commitment to support the PDP as a means of realizing the vision for a “matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay” for every Filipino by 2040. She also encouraged everyone to continue advocating the plans in order to get back on track, and act now by doing the right action “at sama-samang bumangon para sa ambisyon.”