Dinagat Island’s major economic sectors managed to bounce back last year following the devastation caused by typhoon Odette in December 2021.
During his State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Sunday, Gov. Nilo Demerey Jr. said :“The greatest challenge in my administration was typhoon Odette, which brought around PHP3 billion in damages to the province.”
Of the total losses, PHP1.1 billion was incurred by agriculture and fishery sectors, including vital infrastructure such as education and health facilities.
“Despite the situation, the provincial government remained focused and steadfast in delivering priority programs and projects to address socio-economic development gaps, while trying to industrialize and innovate the agriculture, fishery, mining, and ecotourism sectors,” Demerey said.
To resuscitate the area’s agriculture industry, he said the provincial government intensified the Dinagat Islands Sustainable Agri-Fishery Development Program with an investment of PHP40.99 million starting in 2022.
A highly-mineralized province, only 41 percent of Dinagat Islands’ total land area is suitable for agriculture, with 13,167 registered farmers.
With the support of government line agencies, 965 farmers received inbred rice and corn seeds while 1,066 farmers were also provided with organic and commercial fertilizers, rodenticides, and fungicides, Demerey said.
He said the rehabilitation of the Provincial Stock Farm and the Poultry Breeding House last year paved the way for the distribution of 6,061 heads of upgraded chicken to nine people’s organizations and three learning sites in the province.
“We also invested around PHP12,830,800 for rehabilitation and recovery support for continued veterinary services to farmer’s associations and partner municipalities to ensure vaccination and treatment of livestock,” Demerey said.
The provincial government, he added, also engaged the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority to identify the marine areas for the establishment of deep-sea “Payaw” in the eastern part of the province.
The province, he noted, has 11 accommodation establishments and five travel and tours which are all accredited by the Department of Tourism.
“We also participated in tourism travel marts, expositions, and events that promoted the tourism sites of Dinagat Islands,” Demerey said.
The SOPA was delivered during the culmination of the weeklong “Bugkosan sa Isla 2023 Festival” in time with the commemoration of the 17th charter day of the province. (PNA)