BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 24 -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) revealed that 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 is maximized.
DTI-Caraga Regional Director Brielgo O. Pagaran said that from its creation, the region started with only P29-billion GRDP in 1994 and reached P100-billion in 2019.
"If we dream of prosperity for all, we should set a target; if you cannot quantify, you cannot target," Pagaran said.
He also pointed out that with a total land area of more than 2-million hectares, Caraga will yield great productivity potentials through quantifying a macro-development plan.
Pagaran further explained that for agro-industry alone, the 600-thousand hectare agricultural land can generate P60-billion, summing up the P50,000 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 bay-ang 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 mariculture park zones.
Pagaran 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, to provide a holistic 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," said Jorge P. Silaga, national palm oil cluster focal person.
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 now at the office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea for review and comments from involved national agencies," Silaga added.
Silaga further said 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. (DTI-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)