NEW RDC CHAIR. Photo of Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla. Petilla is the new chair the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council after President Rodrigo Duterte approved his nomination, the provincial information office confirmed on Thursday (Feb. 6, 2020) (Photo courtesy of Province of Leyte)

TACLOBAN CITY -- Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla will again chair the highest policymaking body in the region after President Rodrigo Duterte approved his nomination, the provincial information office here confirmed on Thursday.

Petilla and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez were the two nominees picked by the Regional Development Council (RDC) as chairperson during the September 2019 meeting.

This is the second time for Petilla to serve as RDC chairman. He headed the body during his first term as Leyte governor from 2013 to mid-2016.

Earlier, Petilla vowed to push for more development initiatives for three Samar provinces.

The official earlier proposed to form a technical working group to come up with a development roadmap for Samar Island.

“If the President decides to choose me, we will implement development programs in the region to attain inclusive growth,” Petilla said in previous interviews.

The governor is the third member of the Petilla political clan to become an RDC chair. His mother, Remedios Petilla, who served as governor, lawmaker, and mayor, was the RDC chair from 2001 to 2004.

His brother, Carlos Jericho, also headed the RDC from 2011 to 2013 but this was cut short after he was appointed as energy secretary in 2012.

Meanwhile, Luisita Quebec, a private sector representative from the media sector in Eastern Visayas was appointed as the vice-chair of the policymaking body.

“I am humbled and thankful for another opportunity to serve not only the council and the sector I am representing, but for the entire region,” Quebec said in a phone interview.

The two officials are scheduled to take oath in Malacañang either Thursday or Friday, according to sources in the provincial information office, but both of them have not yet received a copy of their appointment papers.

Under Executive Order 325, those who are qualified to head the RDC as chair and co-chair are the provincial governors, mayors of capital towns and cities, presidents of the league of municipalities in six provinces, and private sector representatives.

The rule also states that if a local chief executive is chosen as chair, the co-chair will be from the private sector and if an official of the non-government group is selected as chair, the co-chair will be a local chief executive.

RDC is the counterpart of the National Economic Development Authority Board at the regional level. (PNA)