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  Economic Performance
and Development Opportunities

ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

The Province of Cagayan, despite its unstable economic condition for the past years have gained and accomplished the following:

Employment

The provincial employment situation in the province exhibited an improvement of .3% from 96% in 1996 to 96.3% in 1997. In absolute level, this translates to a total of 8,000 new jobs for the unemployed persons in 1996. Cagayan was identified as the province with the highest employment rate throughout Region 02. However, with the advent of El Niño phenomenon in 1998, employment rate plunged to 90.50%, registering a 6.3% decline from the 1997 rate.

Over the year, from 1994 to 1997, the agriculture and service sector reaped the highest percent in terms of employment. However, the period from 1997 and 1998 showed a sudden shift of employment by sector. Agriculture sector declined from 73.50% to 66.20 percent while employment in the service sector grew from 22.30% to 28% (1997-1998) or an increase of 5.7%. The decline/shift of employment from agriculture to service sector is attributed to the El Niño phenomenon.

Rice and Corn Sufficiency

About 48% or 71,107.90 hectares of the total agricultural land area is planted with rice. The irrigated land has an average yield per hectare of 69 cavans while 34 cavans per hectare fro rain-fed areas.

On other hand, cornfields constitute about 16% or 9,6333.14 hectares of total agricultural land, producing an average yield per hectare of 29.99 and 48.62 cavans per hectare for yellow and white corn respectively.

Despite the low production per hectare for rice and corn, the province enjoys the sufficiency levels in rice and corn. Sufficiency level reached a total of 240.38% for rice and 116.75% for corn. The province is one of the major suppliers of rice for Metro Manila.


DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

The province of Cagayan is blessed with rich fertile valleys for agriculture and vast natural resources. The mountain ranges with its extensive forests are rich sources of forest products. On the coastal part of the province are great bodies of water such as the Balintang Channel and the Pacific Ocean which could support a thriving fishing industry. These could also support commerce and tourism industry. From these vast resources, the following potentials are extended:

Wide Expanse of Rich Agricultural Areas

The province has vast prime agricultural lands suitable to a wide variety of agricultural commodities. In 1996, the agricultural land represents 17.786% or 1,601.23 square kilometers of the total land area of the province. Cagayan has an irrigable land area estimated at 56,783 hectares.

The province has already earned the distinction of being a major food supplier away to the rest of the country, especially in grains and legumes. With the maximum utilization of this resource, the province could become a major supplier of fruits and vegetables, as well as other commodities particularly those with high linkages to industries like sugar cane, coconut, and tobacco, among other commercial crops.

Productive Forestlands
and Vast Underutilized Grasslands

Cagayan's forest area is facing depletion due to illegal activities. With this problem, there are still a number that remains a vast forest production area of about 296,894 hectares. Considerably, these are rich sources of hardwood and other exotic species, lumber, rattan, bamboo, and other forest products. A total of 151,768 hectares of pastureland areas and natural graslands provide considerable potential for livestock production or diversified upland farming, an area which could be developed and improved in line with the national thrust of agro-forectry and industrialization.

Abundant Inland Water
and Marine Resources

The Province is crisscrossed by rivers and creeks, the largest of which is the Cagayan River, which originates from from the Province of Nueva Vizcaya with a drainage area of about 27,300 sq. kms. and a groundwater reserve of 47,895 mcm. and traverses the province from south to north. The larger tributaries of the Cagayan River are the Pinacanauan River in Peñablanca in the southeast; the Dummun River in Gattaran and the Pared River in Alcala, both in central Cagayan; and the Zinundungan River in Lasam and the Matalag River in Rizal, both in the west. The other rivers in the province are the Chico River in southwest Cagayan at Tuao, the Pata River and Abulug River in the northwest, Buguey River in the north, and the Cabicungan River in the northeast.

If properly developed and maintained, these rivers and numerous tributaries, lakes, and other inland bodies of water could amply provide the water needs for domestic, agricultural, municipal and industrial purposes of not only the province but of other neighboring areas as well, and at the same time they provide a good resource for inland aquaculture, recreation and tourism activities.

Furthermore, the province has a coastline of approximately 401 kilometers of all coastal towns of Cagayan that is potential for aquaculture. If these are properly developed for fish production, Cagayan will truly function as the region's "Fish Provider." The territorial waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Babuyan and Balintang Channels on the east and north remain largely untapped. Moreover, beaches along Port Sta. Ana extending to Cape Engaño in Palaui Island offer a haven for scuba divers and fishing enthusiasts. The San Vicente fishing ground in the municipality of Sta. Ana is famous worldwide for its abundant marine life.

Existence of Rich Mineral Resources
and Abundant Indigenous Energy Resources

The province's known reserves of both metallic and non-metallic minerals like gold, iron ore, magnenite sand and manganese, among others are still remain unexplored and are yet to be tapped. Furthermore, indigenous energy sources like geothermal and hydroelectric capabilities have been in the province. These could be used as inputs for industrial development of the province especially by the presence of Port Sta. Ana, located in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

Proximity to East Asia

Being located on the northeastern tip of the country, the province is closest to the large international trading partners of the country particularly China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and japan. This proximity is bolstered by the presence of the only seaport in the region, the Sta. Ana Port located in the municipality of Sta. Ana. This geograhical advantage could be utilized to further develop the agro-industrial potential of the province for domestic and export purposes.

The Presence of ECOZONE in the Province

The Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP) is envisioned to stimulate the development and improvement of the country's human resource capital, especially in enhancing capabilities in agro-industries and light industries and also aimed to be a self-sustaining, eco-friendly industrial zone. Being identified as a potential development catalyst for the Northern Luzon region and to be a major transshipment point for trade in the Asia-Pacific rim because of its strategic location.


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