JOSE Alvarez
Palawan 2nd District Representative Jose Alvarez announces his plans for southern Palawan during the launch of the Lionheart Farms' Paskuhang Pinoy in Barangay Punta Baja, Rizal town on November 26.| File photo

Rep. Jose C. Alvarez, 2nd District Palawan, has announced plans to boost agricultural production in the southern district by distributing and widely planting fruit-bearing trees, with Rizal town being transformed into a “fruit capital.”

Rep. Alvarez stated that he is working with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to distribute and plant at least one million langka (jackfruit) trees over the next three years.

Last Saturday evening, Alvarez made the announcement at the launch of the Paskuhang Pinoy in Rizal town, which was initiated by Lionheart Farms and attended by him.

“This afternoon, I announced to the barangay captains that I have approached DENR and they will assist me in buying all the seedlings that we can produce. It’s a big challenge, the government will buy the seedlings that the peoples’ organizations will plant,” Alvarez said.

In addition to jackfruit, he stated that bamboo and mahogany trees will be planted in other municipalities “so that there will be enough economic activities in the south.”

He stated that the plan was put in place to match the economic activities in the province’s northern part, which is primarily dependent on tourism.

“When tourism drops, wala na. Dito sa south, we will also have tourism in Balabac, agriculture in Rizal and Quezon including Narra, Brooke’s Point, and Bataraza at that, so I think the GDP (gross domestic product) being produced by Southern Palawan will also match the GDP produced by San Vicente, El Nido and Coron in the north. That’s the outlook so I’m happy to announce,” he explained.

He also reiterated his vision of making the island town of Balabac as the “Maldives of Palawan” that he said will attract at least two to three million tourists a year.

“We’re building two airports there. Then can you imagine Bataraza continues to grow, and Rizal because of Lionheart, then Quezon. And I accept the challenge that in the next six years, lahat ng pondo na makukuha ko sa Manila, dito ko ibubuhos sa Rizal, sa Quezon at Brooke’s Point para gumanda itong part of the world natin,” he said.

“It is nice to live here. Compared to El Nido and Coron, they will also have at least two to three million tourists, and also Balabac. That is the mission and you expect the tremendous inflow of tourists, and also because Rizal will become the fruit capital of Palawan,” he added.