There are several areas in Palawan where new investments are needed, where there are established or captive markets and demand-supply gaps exist. Some may require newer, more sophisticated technology, while known technologies may suffice for others, where only capital and enterprise are important. However, new investments must conform to specific regulations that may be applicable only to Palawan, especially those related to environment protection.Agriculture.
Large-scale vegetable production. In many sloping and plains areas in the north and south, vegetable production may be appropriate, as cash crop to reduce the province’s dependence on vegetables ‘imported’ from outside. Markets include the hotels/pensions, restaurants and general public in nearby municipalities and Puerto Princesa City. Organic culture should be lucrative, as well as household hydroponic vegetable production if a fixed market is established in the community.
Furthermore, the imminent expansion of the Puerto Princesa airport to international standards will enable growers to export directly to Japan, for instance, immature okra, eggplant or other vegetables as may be in demand.
Fruit processing. Coconut, mango, cashew, soursop, tomato and papaya are just a few examples of fruits in Palawan for processing into canned or bottled products. Except for coconut, however, no large plantations of the fruits exist, but supply may be obtained from household sources for village-level processing enterprises, recommended for coconut which can yield various main and by-products. Production always rises when steady buyers are present.
The establishment of industrial plantations instead of relying on contract production, on the other hand, is always an option, because much private land may be leased long-term for the enterprise.
Marine Aquaculture.Marine fish prices are slowly rising in Palawan, while the demand for crabs, shrimp, prawn and shellfish continues to climb along with the flourishing tourism industry and a high rate of population growth. There are many small protected coves, bays and inshore areas in the province usable for small-scale marine aquaculture to breed high-value fish like groupers, bangus, small tuna, marine tilapia and snappers, as well as lobsters, prawns and crabs. Every local government entity will be open for such investments if their establishment will not hamper the movement of, and restrict the fishing practices of, the community fishermen. Aside from employment, marine aquaculture will also reduce population pressure on community fisheries if not actually benefit from it.
Fish breeding to produce fry of specific species will likewise tremendously help aquaculture to develop much quicker than otherwise. As it is, prospective aquaculturists have no knowledge how and where to procure the fry, except those of bangus and green grouper. A breeding laboratory or two should find steady markets for their fry everywhere in the province.Tourism.
Named as The Most Beautiful Island in the World by Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards, Palawan is developing into being the most versatile tourist destination in the country, able to offer practically anything of interest in nature, from marine to highland flora and fauna, from quaint places to unique people. And, our sea, sand, and sun places are far from being typical, sometimes extreme if you are persistent enough to seek what you want. Tourist visits continue to rise over the years by as much as 50+% in 2010, (25% average in the last four years) after the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River was declared one of the New SevenWonders of Nature. Again, this trend is expected to remain steady if not accelerate in the next years, as accessibility of, and within the, province improves further. A wide-open opportunity for the intrepid investor.
Therefore, nature-oriented and –friendly places to stay offering unconventional activities, such as underwater marine viewing chambers or similar, mobile reef observation platforms, diving/snorkeling tours of rarely-reached sites, and flora and fauna showcases, will be most welcome. Not only will they promote environmental conservation, but will serve as educational places of interest as well, both reasons highly desirable for Palawan.
Primary tourism development areas include all the municipalities and islands of North Palawan and Balabac in the South for the customary sea, sun and sand, and Aborlan, Narra, Brooke’s Point, Espanola area for the more terrestrial pursuits. Accommodation facilities must target high-volume areas outside of the City, which has a surfeit of it at present.Power Generation..
Nature-friendly power generation is highly desirable in the province to fill the power gap particularly in the islands where tourism is growing exponentially. In many communities, private neighborhood power generation enterprises are rather common, but these are necessarily limited and do not service households located farther than their orbits, or otherwise they would be unviable.
In these areas, power beyond simple household needs are imperative to enhance local trade and industries, and raise the communities’ standard of living.Transportation..
The distances between communities in the province requires efficient means of transport of people and goods, overland or by sea, whichever may be more feasible for a particular area. Many small communities are not serviced by regular transportation schedules, hampering their social and economic development.
In short, the government can develop the roads and bridges, but it cannot buy the buses and trucks to use them. This must be private sector investments.IHELP..
The provincial government aspires for a publicprivate sectors partnership in accelerating the development in Palawan, and thus encourages the entry of private investments in areas where public capital spending may not be possible, or not available at the desired scales. The areas covered by the I-HELP agenda are priority, but other areas are mentioned above.