Mayor Cristina Gonzalez-Romualdez of Tacloban City was appointed Chairperson of the Regional Development Council in Eastern Visayas by President Rodrigo Duterte through an appointment letter dated February 9, 2017.
In a news bulletin posted at the Tacloban City Government’s official website, it announced on February 14 Romualdez’s appointment to a 3-year term of chairpersonship. The National Economic Development Authority confirmed the mayor’s appointment on the same date. NEDA’s Regional Office 8 sent a congratulatory letter to Romualdez thru its Regional Director Atty. Bonifacio Uy saying he welcomes the appointment of Mayor Romualdez and “draws inspiration from the exemplary leadership and commitment to public service exhibited by the Mayor.”
Romualdez – a known ally of the President took over the post held by Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla who is associated to the then President Benigno Aquino. The governor Petilla is the brother of then Energy Secretary Jerico Petilla who also held the RDC chairpersonship when he was Leyte governor. Their mother, Remedios Petilla, now Mayor of Tacloban’s neighbor town of Palo is also a former governor of Leyte after her husband Leopoldo’s term expired.
Romualdez on the other hand succeeded her husband former Mayor Alfred Romualdez from the city’s helm. While her husband was mayor she served as city councilor.
The RDC serves as the counterpart of the NEDA Board at the subnational level. The RDC is the office that oversees the direction of all economic and social development efforts in the region. It also serves as a caucus where local efforts can be related and integrated with national development activities.
On August 31, 2016, the RDC nominated Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan-de los Santos, Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, Mayor Cristina Gonzalez-Romualdez, and RDC private sector representatives Roy Bernard Fiel, Oliver Cam, and Tiburcio Morales.
Romualdez will preside over RDC’s meetings starting the month of March.