P600-B gross regional domestic product in Caraga possible in 10 years – DTI

Published January 15, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – Due to its many potentials and rich natural resources, Caraga region will reach a targeted P600-billion gross regional domestic product (GRDP) within 10 years if potential productivity of agriculture, forestry, and fishery sectors are maximized.

A young child in Paratong, Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur, helps in drying ‘palay’ or unhusked rice during one weekend last January. (JJ Landingin)

“Local revenues and employment generation will also benefit Caraganons if the said potential areas will be tapped by all our concerned government agencies, local government units, business sectors and stakeholders,” disclosed Regional Director Brielgo O. Pagaran of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in an exclusive interview with The Manila Bulletin yesterday.

It can be noted that with the creation of the Caraga Administrative Region, it started with P29-billion GRDP only in 1994, but this has now reached P100 billion in 2019.

“If we dream of prosperity for all, we should set a target; if you cannot quantify, you cannot target,” the region’s top DTI 13 official pointed out.

He also stressed a point that with a total land area of more than two million hectares, Caraga region will yield great productivity potentials through quantifying a macro-development plan.

Pagaran further explained that for agro-industry alone, the 600,000 hectare agricultural land can generate P60 billion, summing up the P50-thousand annual productivity per hectare and the value added pegged at 100 percent.

The region’s top DTI official also sees that the potential of the forestry industry will earn Caraga an estimated P540 billion productivity. This was after considering the region’s capacity to produce bamboo and Gubas and Bay-ang trees for chopsticks, wood for biomass, and plywood, among others.

“An additional P800 million is also expected from the fisheries industry especially through the utilization of dozens mariculture park zones located in various parts in the region, particularly in Surigao del Norte and Surigao City which City Mayor Estong Matugas and Gov. Atty. Francisco T. Matugas are utilizing now,” he said.

“We did not yet include the mining sector, which is a big contributory factor in the economic growth of the region and employment generation,” Pagaran said.

The region’s top DTI official is hopeful that with the programs of DTI and support from the local government units and regional line agencies, the 28 percent poverty incidence in the region will drop.

In fact, he said, to provide a  more wholistic approach toward agro-agri productivity, DTI Caraga conceptualized and initiated Palm Oil and Agricultural Land Management for Economic Re-integration and Sustainability (PALMERS) which is a development model and framework to develop, expand, rehabilitate and replant palm oil areas.

PALMERS will be the implementing mechanism to the Palm Oil Roadmap for the palm oil industry.

“Palm oil industry is one of the eight national priority industry clusters and it will generate more income and employment opportunities in Caraga,” also said Jernalita “Jorge” P. Silaga, chief of staff and Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist  of DTI 13.

Silaga, who is also PALMERS project coordinator, shared that an executive order supported by the Board of Investment Governor Napoleon Concepcion and endorsed by the office of Representative Maria Angelica Matba has been drafted to create the regulatory body for palm oil.

“The said executive order, known as the Philippine Palm Oil Development Authority (PPODA), is already submitted at the office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Aug. 14, 2019 for review and comments from involved national agencies,” she said, in the same exclusive interview.

She added that the palm oil industry will help reduce the poverty incidence in the region and in the country basing on the low poverty incidence of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand which have palm oil as a common denominator of economic development.