NUEVA VIZCAYA: Progressive without Mining
Contrary to the claim of OceanaGold Philippines Incorporated (OGPI) that it is boosting the economic development of Nueva Vizcaya and contributing to the reduction of poverty incidence, Nueva Vizcaya has long been moving towards progress as evidenced with the fact that the province was included in the top ten with highest Human Development Index (HDI) in the Philippines.
Poverty incidence in the province of Nueva Vizcaya dramatically decreased from 15.1 in 2012 to 9.1 in 2015, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which proves that there were immense efforts for development and progress for the past three years.
One of the efforts in this development is the prioritization on the extensive provincial road and Farm-to-Market roads (FTMR) construction and improvements that led to the easy transport of agricultural products. Aside from this, farmers were empowered thr
ough the Farmers to Consumers (F2C) program that enabled them to directly sell their products to the consumers where they profited more than usual.
The province is basically an agricultural economy with commerce, trade and industry. Among other major economic activities are farming, cattle and swine raising. Primary crops are palay and corn. Minor crops include root crops, vegetables and fruits. The province also produces quality onions and citrus, often sold in Metro Manila.
For the past years, the province was also awarded for consistently being one of the most outstanding rice and corn producers in the country that indicates that the province is independent and self-reliant when it comes to agriculture and food security.
On the other hand, an endeavor to intensify the tourism industry of the province which includes the development of the Lower Magat Eco-Tourism Park (LMET), the plans for the improvement of the Balete Pass and the road constructions going to the Capisaan cave, which is considered as the fifth largest cave system in the country, were also started.
With these developments in the past years, it cannot be denied that the province has evolved into an abundant and self-reliant province.
Moreover, the province is also considered a watershed haven of Region II. The Magat watershed covers major portions of Nueva Vizcaya. It has a total area of 234, 824 hectares and almost 98 percent of which covers all the 15 municipalities of the province. The Magat watershed has four areas managed by different government including the Lower Magat Forest Reserve, the Imugan-Cabanglasan sub-watershed, Dupax watershed and the Barobbob watershed.
These watersheds play a vital role in sustaining agriculture, livestock and service sectors that provide revenues for the province. It offers various economic purposes and services for revenue generation such as timber for furniture, wood carving and construction material; rattan for furniture purposes; quarry as source of sand and gravel production; agroforestry land for farming and community-based forest management program (CBFM); and reservoir surface area for irrigation, fish production, domestic uses and electricity generation.
As it stands, it is coherent to say that the province of Nueva Vizcaya can do away with mining as evident in several manpower and natural resources of the province for the sustainable growth and development of the people and for the generations to come. #krizel