The provincial government plans to tap into the province’s estimated 62,000 indigenous community as a food supply source for the growing domestic and tourism demand.
Governor Jose Alvarez said that by focusing their interventions to indigenous communities which he said accounts for majority of the province’s poorest, they can address the issue of poverty and the need for food security.
“Nagsimula na kami ng intervention dahil sila ang nagco-contribute ng 53 percent of our poverty index. Pag sila ay naging productive, sila ang magsusuplay ng pagkain sa ating tourism industry that will be rising from 1.5 million to 3 million tourists a year,” he said.
Governor Alvarez said during the Provincial Tourism Stakeholder’s Meeting last April 17 they have already surveyed the indigenous communities in Southern Palawan that they will tap for a livelihood program.
“Kung ganyan karami ang ating IPs, why don’t we make the IPs productive to support our tourism thrusts,” he said.
Profiling the IPs and putting their names on a master list, he explained, would tell the provincial government what type of intervention they need to improve their living conditions.
Alvarez said that initially, they have allocated P300 million for the purpose of getting them engaged in the livestock raising and production of goats, domestic cattle, swine, and poultry as an alternative livelihood.
“Nagsimula na kami ng intervention dahil sila ang nag-co-contribute ng malaki sa 53 percent of our poverty index. Kapag sila ay naging productive, sila ang mag-su-supply ng pagkain sa ating tourism industry that will be rising from 1.5 million to three million tourists a year,” he stated.
The towns they will supply include San Vicente, Coron, Taytay, and El Nido, where most tourists visit.
The PPDO, he added, is also currently conducting an inventory of IP families in northern Palawan that may also have the same number as the southern area.
“Ang norte ay pinapa-inventory ko na rin ang mga IPs dyan. I am estimating that if theyre are 62,000 families in the south, mayroon din na ganyan karami sa norte,” he added.
Based on the PPDO’s data, each IP family only earns P30 a day, which is the lowest in Southeast Asia’s barometer of two dollars a day.
Alvarez said they are aiming to bring down Palawan’s 2017 poverty index to be closer if not equal the national average of 25 percent by 2022.