Issue of July 9, 2017
Mt. Province

69th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Cordillera econ hubs identified
by Jane B. Cadalig

The Regional Development Council-Cordillera has adopted a new development approach to ensure a balanced economic growth in all provinces in the region.

National Economic Development Authority-Cordillera Director Milagros Rimando said that in the Regional Development Plan for 2017 to 2022, the RDC has adopted the “North and South Clusters Plus,” where regional, provincial, and sub-provincial growth centers were established to help propel development in remote areas in the provinces and municipalities and ensure that all communities get their fair share from the region’s economic development.

Rimando said under the plan, the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) will be the Southern growth    center and will continue to be the regional commercial, service, major industrial center because business activities remain concentrated in Baguio and Benguet. The BLISTT will also continue to be developed as the tourism gateway to the Cordillera.

The second priority growth center is Eastern Kalinga; which is composed of Tabuk, Pinukpuk, and Rizal. Eastern Kalinga will be the Northern growth center and will be developed as an agri-industrial center and settlement area.

“Kalinga is the food basket of the region and because of the vast tracts of land in the province, it has a potential for industry and settlement use,” Rimando, who is also the vice-chair of the RDC, said.

The identification of Eastern Kalinga as a regional growth center is also in consonance with the province’s declaration as one of the country’s tourism development areas in the country. Kalinga’s declaration as a Tourism Development Area means that the province is accorded priority in terms of tourism development programs.

For the provincial growth centers, the RDC identified La Trinidad, Benguet; Bontoc, Mountain Province; Lagawe, Ifugao; Tabuk, Kalinga; Bangued, Abra; and Kabugao, Apayao or the capital towns of the provinces to serve as service centers and catalysts of growth for the more remote parts of the region.

For the sub-provincial or local growth centers, the RDC identified Buguias in Benguet; Bauko in Mountain Province; Alfonso Lista in Ifugao; Lubuagan in Kalinga; Manabo in Abra; and Luna in Apayao as the service centers and catalysts of growth for the more remote municipalities in each province.

Baguio City Mayor and RDC Chair Mauricio Domogan said there is a need to develop areas outside Baguio and its neighboring Benguet towns to ensure equitable development.

“It is time to develop areas outside the BLISTT, because these areas have already sustained their growth. We look forward to partnering with local government units outside the BLISTT to help us realize this. We encourage them to improve their competitiveness that will help attract investment in their areas,” Domogan said.

The RDC, the highest planning and policy-making body in the region, sets the direction of economic and social development initiatives in the region and serves as a forum where local efforts are integrated with regional and national development activities.


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