(Continued from yesterday)
SO, in determining the comparative advantage of each province, we include such factors as agricultural production, minerals, tourism, livestock, fisheries and export products as starting points. How do you monetize such advantages?
Cavite is the country’s biggest province in terms of population. Cavite is the third largest producer of rubber (cuplump); fourth largest producer of pineapple; fifth largest producer of lettuce; ninth largest producer of ampalaya and gourd; tenth largest producer of cashew, onions and chrysanthemum. Cavite has one dam (Molina Dam) and one water basin (Pasig-Laguna de Bay basin). It’s largest recorded mineral production is sand and gravel. In terms of tourism, Cavite is the 10th most visited province as of 2015 with 703,333 visitors; 66 percent, or 465,259, were domestic tourists and 238,074 were foreign travelers. Cavite is the fifth most visited province by foreign travelers. Cavite is host to natural, historical and manmade destinations.
Cebu on the other hand is the second largest producer of chrysanthemum, gladiola, roses and Chinese pechay; the third largest producer of mango, mango carabao and cabbage; fourth largest producer of carrots and habichuela; sixth largest producer of papaya and caulifllower; seventh largest producer of ginger, lettuce and ube; ninth largest producer of eggplant and radish; and tenth largest producer of sugarcane and sweet potato. Cebu is the fifth largest producer of Indian mackerel or alamahan in the country. It is the fourth largest producer of round scab or galunggong. In terms of livestock, Cebu is the fourth largest producer of cattle, tenth largest producer of chicken, third largest producer of chicken egg, second largest producer of goat and fourth largest producer of swine. In terms of hydro sources, Cebu has four proclaimed watersheds: Mananga River Watershed Forest Reserve, Kotkot and Lusaran River Watershed First Reserve, Buhisan Watershed Forest Reserve and Aragon River Watershed Forest Reserve. As to minerals, Cebu is the No. 1 producer of copper in the country. It is also among the top five producers of limestone. It is the sole producer of dolomite and graywacke. Cebu is also a major producer of gold. As of 2015, Cebu drew in 339,467 travelers; 64 percent, or 218,239, were domestic travelers while 120,708 were foreign visitors. Cebu is the eighth most visited province by foreign travelers. It has several natural, historical and manmade destinations.
Sulu is part of ARMM. It is the largest producer in the country of coffee excelsa and liberica as well as mangosteen. It is the second largest producer of durian, third largest producer of lanzones, fourth largest producer of arabica, sixth largest producer of abaca, coffee robusta and cassava. Sulu is the second largest fisheries producer in the country. It is the fifth largest producer of Indian sardine or tamban, the largest producer of round scab or galunggong, second largest producer of skip jack or gulyasan, third largest producer of yellowfin tuna or tambakol or bariles, largest producer of frigate tuna or tulong an, 4th largest producer of big-eye scad or matangbaka, second largest producer of Indian mackerel or alumahan, the largest producer of eastern little tuna or bonito. Within its municipal waters, Sulu is the fourth largest producer of big-eye scad, third largest producer of round scab and the largest producer of milkfish. In terms of aquaculture, Sulu is the largest producer of seaweed in the country. Unfortunately, the Department of Tourism did not have a record on tourist visitors for Sulu in 2015 but the province has several natural, historical and manmade destinations.
Three provinces and it tells you the story of the country under a unitary system. Three provinces and one can do a forecast of its possibilities under a federal Philippines. And we have not factored infrastructure in this initial effort at asset listing. Much work is to be done. Partisan politics should not define our economics for it will just be too extractive. The need to improve the lot of 26 percent of Filipinos is crucial. The same is true of retiring 50 percent of the Top 10 poorest provinces, 8 of which are in Mindanao.
It has been said that “Rome was not built in a day” but we fail to remember that “Rome was eventually built, and it must have been so magnificent that when people admired it, they were told that it didn’t happen in just a day. The question, then, is: if Rome was not built in a day, how was it built? Answer: It was built every day.”