The Regional Development Council (RDC) is the highest planning and policy-making body in the region. It serves as the counterpart of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board at the sub-national level. It is the primary institution that coordinates and sets the direction of all economic and social development efforts in the region. It also serves as a forum where local efforts can be related and integrated with regional and national development activities.

The creation of the RDC answers the need for a single planning body whose main concern is the overall socio-economic development of the region. This was an offshoot of the implementation of the Integrated Reorganization Plan of 1972 which divided the country into administrative regions.

Regional development planning is necessary to address the uneven economic and social development in the country. This stems from the recognition that growth and advancement over the years remain unevenly distributed and that progress has been concentrated in a few regions.

In recent years, local autonomy has brought to the fore the need to empower local chief executives and officials in spearheading development in their respective jurisdictions. This strengthens and complements the vital role of the RDC in coordinating local initiatives that could further accelerate the socio-economic development of the region.