Why invest in Palawan?
The investment opportunities in Palawan are numerous, as outlined earlier, and here are some of the incentives for doing so:
Space. Palawan has the space necessary for wide-area projects such as plantations and farms. For corporate agribusiness, there are vast tracts of idle private lands which may be leased long-term. Alternatively, public land stewardship programs are also open to private concessionaires including establishment of industrial tree plantations.
Peace and order. In the whole of MIMAROPA Palawan runs second only to Marinduque in terms of peace and order, and Marinduque has six towns only clustered in a small island.
Educated population. With three universities in the province, Palawan is able to produce learned individuals at par with those of other, more progressive provinces. Passing rates in professional board examinations are comparable to the national average, so there should be no problem in accessing local human resources for virtually any project.
Communications. The communications services given by the three (3) major carriers are comparable to those present elsewhere in the country, including the WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiplexing Access), GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications), HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) and Broadband Internet including wireless connections and DSL (Digital Subscriber Line). The GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) system, however, may be the only one available in less accessible communities, but this can also access the Internet, but slower. Much depend on the gadget being used to access the Internet, plus the location.
Financing. There are about twenty-two banking companies operating in Palawan, ranging from commercial banks to savings banks, only two being locally based. They can service practically all banking needs for industrial, commercial or development ventures. Government support. The provincial government is keen on helping private investments to enter Palawan. Beyond the incentives and tax holidays granted by the national government, the province is willing to provide ancillary services and information needed for due diligence of start-up projects.
Climate. The province is typhoon-free most of the year and for many years, has adequate rainfall, and is unpolluted.
In other words, the private sector can propose, and the government will find reasons not to oppose.
The provincial government is today concentrating its development and poverty alleviation efforts in five (5) areas: infrastructure, health, education, livelihood, and protection of the environment. It aims at focusing investments - public and private, in these spheres as the main avenues of progress balanced between people welfare and substantive physical development.
Infrastructure. The strategic aim of infrastructure development is to present to the people the means to encourage enterprise as a catalyst, rather than as a response. Facilities like roads and bridges, feeder ports, potable water and similar infrastructure would embolden would-be entrepreneurs to establish their businesses. The facilities can lay the foundation on which agribusiness, for instance, can build up and become highly sustainable, trade can flourish better and social interaction proceed faster.
Health. A population in poor health is never as productive as it should, aside from being an onus to the government’s social welfare program. Thus the provincial government intends to provide the people with better access to lower-cost health services down to the community level. Health facilities will be improved and democratized so curative and preventive health services may be availed of by more, especially the underprivileged of society.
Education. Beyond simply adding more state scholars to the yearly enrolment roster, the provincial government is emphasizing the benefits of education by creating a TESDA-accredited technical-vocational school to supplement the capabilities of the existing three others. The new school aims to train up to 1,500 students per batch for local and overseas employment. One expected result is that those employed will generate additional fiscal infusion to the local economy that will redound to the benefit of everyone, including, to a lesser degree, taxes for the government. Likewise, the provincial government plans to reduce the shortage of classrooms and teachers in Palawan, by constructing more than 2,500 schoolrooms in the next few years and expanding the free tuition program for the selected scholars.
Livelihood. In a departure from the more traditional sources of livelihood the provincial government will promote the development of small-scale industries on cacao, seaweeds, agri/hydrated lime, coconut and similar products with good potential viability and markets.
and similar products with good potential viability and markets. For starters, a Livelihood Project Management Unit has been formed last year to manage the Cacao Agribusiness Livelihood Program, which planted cacao in 1,000 hectares. This year, 2015, an additional 2,500 hectares are expected to be cleared for planting.
Separate programs have been developed to advance the coconut and seaweeds processing industries to raise and stabilize the incomes of the people engaged in them.
A new industry proposed for development in the province is the production of hydrated lime, which is a primary input for agricultural production. Also known as calcium hydroxide, it is also used, in its various forms, in construction, medicine, pharmacy, petrochemicals, dentistry, food industry and many others.
Protection of the Environment. Palawan is known as having preserved the beauty of nature, which tremendously enhanced the tourism industry, so it will be counterproductive to lose this primary attraction. Thus, the environment protection program has three essential purposes: preservation of nature, rehabilitation of degraded lands, and control of development.
Reforestation of deforested upland and lowland areas, planting of fast-growing trees to prevent ancillary soil damage, and protection of existing natural growths are the major activities. At the same time, development will be strictly monitored to prevent over-development in any area of the province beyond the carrying capacity of nature and the community.