PROFILE OF THE PROVINCE
I. Population and Settlement
The Province of Guimaras has a population of 151,238 in 2007 census. It is the least populated province in Region VI. With a population density of 250 persons per sq km, it is the second smallest (next to Antique) in terms of population density in the region. Guimaras also has the least annual population growth rate at 0.93 percent, which is lower than the regional and national growth rates by 0.42 and 1.11 percentage points, respectively.
With the current growth rate, the projected total population and overall density of Guimaras at the end of 2013, are 159,875 and 264 persons per sq km, respectively, and at the end of the vision period (2035) are 195,988 and 324 persons per sq km, respectively. This translates into an additional population of 8,637 by 2013 or an average increase of 1,440 persons every year. The population of Guimaras will likely double in size after 74 years or in 2081.
A. Population Distribution Trends
Jordan and Buenavista are the high density and fast-growing municipalities. They are the major economic and administrative centers in the province and also the main gateways of Guimaras from Iloilo. Buenavista has the highest population share but the trend of its share is decreasing at an average of -0.41 percentage points.
San Lorenzo is low density and fast-growing since it is the second fastest population growing municipality. However, its density growth rate is actually second fastest in the entire province and having the smallest land area, this concern should be addressed effectively.
On settlements, considering the population and functions present in the municipality, Jordan and Buenavista are classified as Medium Town while Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo and Sibunag are Small Town.
The proximity of Guimaras to the two highly urbanized areas of Iloilo and Bacolod has worked to the advantage of the province in the early stages of its existence considering that these centers provided the services that cannot be found in the island. Iloilo and Bacolod also provide the markets for Guimaras products. However, the present scenario already manifests the disadvantages of this arrangement owing to the siphoning effect in the Guimaras economy. Guimaras residents spend their money in malls and other commercial establishments in the city and maintain major bank accounts in Iloilo thereby bringing financial resources outside of Guimaras. The challenge therefore is to remedy this structural flaw and prevent the leakage of financial resources.
C. Future Population Distribution
At the end of the vision period, i.e., 2035, the population of Guimaras will reach 195,988. Buenavista will have the highest share while Sibunag will have the least share.
II. Physical Resources
A. Topography and Slope
The topography of Guimaras Island varies from level to steeply sloping, with land elevation ranging from 0 to nearly 300 meters above sea level. Mt. Dinulman, located in Millan, Sibunag, has the highest elevation of 267 meters above mean sea level.
A great part of the island’s land area is above 100 meters above mean sea level. By comparing the topographic features from the 1956 topographic maps with the present situation, it could be concluded that the island’s topography has not been altered much by man-made activities.
The island’s topography shows quite steep slopes on the western side of island with plateaus and peaks above 200 m in the central portion. A large part or 37 percent of the total land area is within the 8-18 percent slope, only 4 percent comprises the 18-30 percent slope and 17 percent is within the above 30 percent slope. However, the largest part is still within the 0-8 percent slope range which covers 42 percent of the island land area.
B. Land and Water Resources
The province of Guimaras is comprised of a mainland and clusters of small islands and islets. The mainland dominates in terms of land area which comprises of about 98 percent of the total provincial area. The largest among the islands is Inampulogan which is where the wildlife reserve area is located. Taklong Island, on the other hand, was declared as a national marine reserve through Presidential Proclamation No.525 of then President Corazon C. Aquino. The 42 islets comprising the Taklong islands are utilized for marine research activities.
Guimaras is an island province surrounded by body of water in which the largest is the Guimaras Strait on the western side of the island. It is the most important water body used for navigation. Large and small boats going in and out of the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras pass Guimaras Strait which makes it an important economic driver that facilitates economic activities for both provinces.
Based on the previous geographical study conducted, the province has two major watershed areas, the western and the eastern watershed. Three major river systems are Mantangingi, Sibunag and Cabano. These are the major water outflows and contributors to the economic development of the island particularly the agriculture and tourism industry.
Using the bathymetric map (water depth point data provided by NAMRIA and enhanced through GIS technology and translated into a raster data in the map) which provides a scenario of water landscape around the province, the coastal area stretching from the Municipality of Jordan to Buenavista could be an ideal location for transshipment facility that could accommodate vessels plying in and out of the island.
C. Main Geological Features
There are five main types of rock formation occurring in the island;
1. Quarterly Alluvium, Holocene
2. Buenavista Limestone, Pleistocene
3. Jordan Formation, Miocene
4. Guimaras Diorite, Eocene
5. Mt. Pandan Volcanics, Mesosoic
D. Metallic and Non-metallic Mineral Resources
Metallic mineral deposits of Guimaras include lump iron ore at an estimated 1,800 metric tons (MT), primary copper ore at 4,019 MT and copper ore whose quantity is still yet unsurveyed. The lump iron ore as well as prospects of gold can be found in the Municipality of Nueva Valencia.
Based on the 1988 data from DENR, Region VI, limestone ore is estimated at approximately 132 million MT, mainly in Buenavista and partly in Jordan. There are also clay prospects and reported occurrences of dolomite in Buenavista and Jordan as well as prospects of limestone and silica sand in Jordan and Nueva Valencia.
Guimaras is classified as Corona’s Type 1 climate, characterized by two pronounced seasons: the dry season usually between the months of November and April, and the rainy or wet season, which occurs during the rest of the year.
Rainfall during the northeast monsoon would most probably be due to conventional thunderstorms, a result of intense heating causing rapid evaporation, or to a lesser extent, typhoons which can occur in the region during October-November. The probability of a typhoon hitting Guimaras is fortunately low. The island has a rare frequency passage of 0%-10% of the annual average of 19.8 typhoons.
The southwest monsoon (hanging habagat), which ushers in the wet season, starts in June and ends in September. It is characterized by moisture-laden maritime tropical (MT) winds prevailing from a southwesterly direction due to a high pressure system over the Australian Continent, from which diverging winds move towards a low pressure system over South and Southeast Asia including Mainland China.
Temperature data from the NMRDC over a 32 period (1975-2007), in next Figure, show a minimum mean temperature of 25.1 degrees Celsius occurring in December and a maximum mean temperature of 28.6 degrees Celsius occurring in April. The average temperature throughout the 32 years is 27 degrees Celsius and there is an increasing trend in the mean temperature levels, particularly notable in the 1990s.
In 2007, southerly wind was observed throughout the year. Average windspeed of 1.29 meter/second with a maximum of 3.64 meter/second was recorded. More cloud was observed on the rainy months of July to September. Average minimum and maximum temperatures were 24.94 and 30.98 degrees celsius, respectively. Dew point had an average of 26.07 degrees celsius. A higher relative humidity was observed at 8:00 AM than 2:00PM. Average relative humidity of 93.61 and 89.87 percent was recorded in the morning and afternoon. Average daily evaporation was 3.24 mm. Rainy months fall on May to October with a yearly average rainfall of 6.00 mm. Highest rainfall was recorded in August with 25.95 mm and the lowest was in April with 0.81 mm.
Climate variations have been observed in Guimaras as manifested by conditions wherein it is raining in one area but just in another area it is dry. Micro-climatic conditions differ in areas of the island and require more detailed climatic measurements and advanced weather observation facilities. This is very significant considering that agriculture, fisheries and tourism are the primary drivers of the economy.
F. Land Classification
About 95 percent of the total land area of the province is classified as alienable and disposable, which is more or less evenly distributed among the five municipalities. Nueva Valencia, having the largest land area has the biggest share at 23 percent and San Lorenzo, the lowest.
However, in terms of timberlands, Nueva Valencia has the smallest share at only 0.03 percent and Jordan has the biggest share at 1.61 percent.
G. Land Suitability
Most of the land resources of Guimaras are within the relatively developable range. About 42 percent is within the 0-8 percent slope range which is suitable for rice production, cultivated annual crops and fresh water fishponds. Also 42 percent of the total land area is below 18 percent slope which is suitable for mango growing and other orchards. Less than one percent with a slope range of above 50% is considered as protection forest.
Most of the areas suitable for agriculture and rice productions are located in the Municipalities of Sibunag and San Lorenzo, making them as the rice granary of the province. The Municipalities of Jordan and Nueva Valencia are the municipalities wherein 18 percent and above slope are dominantly located. Buenavista is the only municipality that has a slope of 50 percent or more.
H. Protection Areas
1. National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS)
Guimaras has only one protected area under the NIPAS category, the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMR). Located in the municipality of Nueva Valencia at the southern tip of the island, it covers 41 islets and the coastline barangays of Lapaz and San Roque. It has an aggregate area of approximately 1,143.45 hectares consisting of 183 hectares of terrestrial area and 960.45 hectares of brackish and marine water. It was placed under protected area status by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 525 signed by then president Corazon C. Aquino last February 8, 1990. Prior to its proclamation, the area was categorized as unclassified public forest. Currently, the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) has proposed the Marine Reserve to be classified as “Taklong-Tandog Island Protected Landscape and Seascape” category.
The University of the Philippines in the Visayas has established a marine biological station in 1963 and currently serves as a laboratory for researches and studies. It was the UPV that initiated and spearheaded the proposal for the proclamation of the area as a national marine reserve.
The islets are covered with indigenous plant species such as Molave, Talisay, Pandan, Pitogo, Kamachile, Patino, Dangkalan and Duhat. Along the mangrove swamps are Bakawan trees, Bantigue, Pandan-dagat, Api-api, Bungalon and Pagatpat. Wildlife species found in the area are; dog-face bat, varanus lizard and bird species that include pied fantail, yellow vented bulbul, olive brown sun bird, pink-beaked green pigeon, pied thriller, white collared kingfisher, Philippine glossy startling, pigmy swiftlet, brown dove, slender-billed crow, pyal thrush, green-winged ground dove, plain-throated sunbird, white breasted wood swallow, Philippine coucal, night jar, black-naped tern and little pied flycatcher. Sightings of migratory Tabon birds that come to the area to lay eggs were also reported.
The islets are covered with secondary growth and indigenous plant species and some planted trees and agricultural crops by previous settlers. There are approximately 26 hectares of developed fishponds along the coastline facing the marine reserve while the rest of the mainland is generally agricultural lands.
2. Non-NIPAS AREAS
i. Slope above 50 percent
The Municipalities of Jordan and Buenavista are the only two municipalities that have a slope range of 50 percent and above. It is located on the western portion of the island facing Iloilo City. It is calculated to be 0.31 percent of the total land area of the province with almost 50 percent are found in the Municipality of Jordan and the rest are in Buenavista.
ii. Mangrove Forests
A study by Edgardo Gomez in 1980 citing previously compiled data in 1976 which provided an estimate of mangrove cover in Iloilo Province, of which Guimaras used to be a sub-province revealed that mangrove cover was about 1,043.2 hectares. Basing on 1995 data however, the total mangrove cover in the entire island now stands at about 395.6 hectares. Of this amount, mangroves still exist in 269.3 hectares (68.07 percent) in Sibunag and remain in 54.4 hectares (13.75 percent) in Nueva Valencia. Moreover, they also occur in 39.5 hectares (10 percent) in Buenavista, in 16.6 hectares (4.20 percent) in Jordan and in 15.8 hectares (4 percent) in San Lorenzo. It is worth noting that out of the 269.3 hectares of mangrove in Sibunag, 210 hectares is in Inampologan Island.
The analysis suggest that the resulting rate of exploitation or clearing is about 34.6 hectares per year and that the depletion rate of mangrove cover did not change for almost two decades.
3. Areas Prone to Natural Hazards
Four out of five municipalities of the province have presence of faultlines namely; Jordan, Nueva Valencia, Sibunag and San Lorenzo.
Based on regional tectonic setting, Guimaras Island could experience earthquakes related to subduction along the Sulu Sea Trench and Antique Trough dipping east.
Earthquake generated by movements along fault lines and those related to volcanic activity can also affect the island. The 1990 earthquake with epicenter located in the junction of two faults in Panay Island was also felt in Guimaras. Based on the seismicity map from 1990-1992 furnished by PHILVOCS, there were only few earthquake epicenters identified within the island. These are of low magnitude earthquakes.
ii. Areas with Severe Flooding
The flood prone areas are located in some areas of the island, in Barangay Poblacion fronting Jordan Central School and Jordan Municipal Hall, Barangay Tastasan in the Municipality of Buenavista and in Sitio Tinuslukan, Barangay Dolores, Nueva Valencia.
iii. Coastal Zones
Guimaras is an island province consists of mainland, several islands and clusters of islets. The coastal perimeter of the mainland is measured to be 300.48 kilometers while that of the other islands and islets have a total length of 169.44 kilometers. Most of the islets are found in the Municipality of Nueva Valencia.
iv. Fish and Marine Sanctuaries
Falling under the Protected Areas Under the NIPAs Law (RA 7586), is the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve or Taklong-Tandog Protected Seascape in Barangays La Paz and San Roque, Nueva Valencia. This area is considered as marine sanctuary and a marine research center. There are also locally declared marine sanctuaries like the:
· Marine Turtle Sanctuary – Barangay Lawi, Jordan
· Toyo Reef Fish Sanctuary – Guiwanon, Nueva Valencia
· Tumalintinan Fish Sanctuary – Suclaran, San Lorenzo
v. Other ECAs
Other parts of the protected areas are the 500m mountain buffers comprising the three tall mountains in central part of the island having a total area of 765.49 hectares, and the 20m river easements calculated at 761.70 hectares
4. Other Environmentally constrained areas
i. Soil erosion
About 57 percent of the total area of Guimaras suffers from moderate soil while 8 percent is severely eroded. Only 16.90 percent of land area has no apparent erosion.
ii. Areas with Difficult Source of Ground Water
This area is calculated to be 34,061 hectares or 56.32 percent of the total land area of the province. It covered most part of Sibunag and San Lorenzo and some 50 percent of Nueva Valencia and Western portion of Buenavista.
SAFDZ irrigated ricelands is 4,359.59 hectares which is located in five municipalities of Guimaras but, large areas are in the two Municipalities of San Lorenzo and Sibunag which are considered as the rice granaries of the island.
· Navalas, Part of Bacjao and East Valencia, Buenavista· Part of Alaguisoc, Poblacion, Buluangan and Sta. Teresa, Jordan· Part of Lucmayan, Salvacion, Lanipe, Igang, Dolores, Napandong, Tando, San Roque and Cabalagnan, Nueva Valencia· Part of Cabano, M. Chavez, Suclaran, San Enrique, Gaban, Cabungahan, Aguilar, Constancia, San Lorenzo· Part of Millan, Tanglad, Ayangan, Dasal, Maabay, Alegria and Concordia Norte, Sibunag
The economy of Guimaras in 2000 was dominated by the Services Sector which included (from highest to lowest share) Other Services, Wholesale and Retail, Transportation, Storage and Communication Services. This happened as the tourism industry and tourism support services started to bloom. The visitors, commuters and population increased and subsequently the demand for goods and services also increased. Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry Sector ranked second which was boosted by palay, mango, cashew, livestock and poultry, and fishery. The least contributor was the Industry Sector which was spurred by manufacturing, construction, mining and quarrying particularly of limestone which abounds in the island.
The concentration of industry in Region VI is on the Services Sector particularly on other services. Guimaras contributes largely to this sector since its concentration is also on Services Sector particularly on wholesale and retail followed by other services.
Guimaras’ specialization is also on Services Sector (59 percent) particularly on Other services which are both highest among the provinces in the region. Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry Sector ranks only second (8.76 percent). All of the provinces in the region also specialize on Services Sector followed by the Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry Sector.
The industries that have the best potentials for contributing to Guimaras’ economic growth are tourism, mango and cashew production and food processing. Fishery including seaweeds farming is considered as constrained performer which can best perform if supported.
Key infrastructure and other support facilities, capacity enhancement activities, more supportive policies and increased investments are the most important local factors which could accelerate the growth potentials of the identified industries.
IV. Tourism Sector
Tourism is identified as one of the strong performers with high potentials for contributing to local economic growth in Guimaras.
Negros Occidental tops the share, with almost 36 percent, of the total visitors arrivals in Region 6 in 2007 (1,977,850) and this is primarily due to its MICE attractions – Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE). Aklan with its Boracay ranks 2nd with 31 percent. Iloilo which ranks 3rd with 21 percent, also has the MICE and heritage assets.
Guimaras ranks 4th, getting 8 percent of the total visitors arrivals. However, Guimaras has an advantage and potential for growth due to its relatively varied tourism attractions and potentials like beaches/resorts/islets, festivals mostly community-based, religious sites/ activities, nature, historical and agri/farm sites.
Tourism is a growing industry in the island province of Guimaras. The visitors arrivals have increasing trend from 2000 until 2005 with average annual growth rate of 25 percent. However, with the Petron Oil Spill tragedy in August 11, 2006 the visitor arrivals decreased in the succeeding two years by an average of 7.3 percent annually. For the over-all trend from 2000-2007, the average annual growth rate of visitors arrivals is 16 percent. On the average, domestic visitors account for 97.4 percent of the total tourists arrivals while only 2.6 percent is foreign visitors. For the same period, the percentage of foreign tourists out of the total visitor arrivals has also increased by an average of 1 percent annually.
The 2005-2007 visitor arrivals totaling to 511,323 contributed an annual average of 10 percent to the total regional visitor arrivals and 0.54 percent to the regional tourist receipts. Locally, the visitor arrivals contributed an annual average of 170 million pesos tourist receipts to the Guimaras’ economy.
Tourism has generated various significant forward and backward economic activities and employment in the island. There are 35 resorts/hotels/pension inns, 34 tourism related producers, 774 land transport and 79 pumpboat operators, and 19 tour guides, tour attendants and tour assistants.
Although the exact contributions of tourism cannot be accounted for, the results of the 2000 Total Family Income by Household Head and by Kind of Industry as previously discussed have supported tourism’s great contribution to the local economy. In addition, the resulting location quotients (LQ) shown in the following table reflect that the Wholesale and Retail and Other Services both under the Services Industry, as well as the Construction Business have greater than 1 LQs, meaning they have positive association which suggests that they are providing more than local requirements and could be an export-oriented or marketable to foreigners kind of industry, or be an economic base industries. Likewise, the Provincial Product Account/Gross Domestic Product (PPA/GDP) for 2002-2004 of Guimaras has somehow reflected this likelihood as can be seen in the growth rates in the construction, and services sector particularly in transport, communication and storage, trade, finance and private services.
V. Agriculture and Fishery Sector
Agriculture and Fishery Sector focused on specific crops or products like mango, cashew, other fruits and nuts and fisheries including seaweeds, has economic potentials which will significantly contribute to the increase in the Industry Sector and ultimately in the best performing economic industry in the province which is the Services Sector specifically the Wholesale and Retail and Other Services.
Mango production is one of the province’s economic potentials. Mango is the province’s export winner commodity. Guimaras mangoes have been accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) and by Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) as the only mangoes that can be exported to the mainland US and Australia. The Province has a total area of 5,202.8 ha planted to mango and a tree population 250,043 as of 2007 with 7,555 total growers. In terms of tree population per municipality Buenavista shared 50 percent and the lowest is San Lorenzo with 9.3 percent.
In terms of mango production, although the potential could reach up to 19,000 MT annually, however not all trees are ready for induction every year. Only roughly 60-70 percent of the total bearing may be induced for the year. Based on the latest 3-year data, the highest recorded production was in 2007 - 12,467 MT, next was 2006- 12,020 MT and 2005 - 10,902 MT. A remarkable decrease in production can be noted in 2006 due to continuous occurrence of rain during the production season. In terms of the province’s production performance compared with the neighboring provinces, Guimaras ranks 3rd with Iloilo as the lead producer with 27,109 MT, followed by Negros Occidental with 15,436 MT. However, Guimaras ranks first in terms of production of export quality fruit. Negros Occidental is considered as one of Guimaras’ big local markets since about 20 percent of its production is being shipped there.
Cashew production is another economic potential. Cashew, locally termed as “kasuy” is a new emerging commodity and has high potential for both local and export market. The demand for cashew in the export market is huge and promising especially for the unprocessed cashews. Many traders and exporters from Metro Manila demand for it. Back in 2005, the province’s local cashew producers had the chance to participate in an International Food Exhibition organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The producers were met with inquiries from investors of Lebanon and Israel interested in placing orders at 2 - 5 tons per month. They found the requirements of the said investors easier to meet in comparison with the requirements of the investors from China requiring a 214-footer van per month of packed cashews which obviously the locals cannot meet for lack of capacities to produce the volume. Current production is just dominantly backyard type with few farms on orchard type.
VI. Fishing and Seaweed Industry
Fishing Industry is also a major contributor to the provincial economy and shows strong potential for growth. In terms of marine fisheries production, Guimaras ranks 6th among the provinces in the region, with Iloilo as the number 1. However, in terms of self-sufficiency of its people on fish supply, only Iloilo is self-sufficient. Negros Occidental has the greatest deficit while Guimaras has the least deficit.
Iloilo and Negros Occidental as they are the major fish producers, are also competing in the Iloilo and Guimaras Straits.
As to inland fisheries production, Guimaras ranks 5th with Iloilo still as the top producer. Guimaras Island has several fishing grounds rich in marine resources including the Guimaras Strait, Iloilo Strait, Panay Gulf and the Visayan Sea. Fishing activities are concentrated in waters surrounding the island, especially along 54 coastal barangays. Furthermore, there are also a number of fishponds which can be improved, rehabilitated or expanded With the demand and the big potential of Guimaras for fish production, fisheries is one of the economic drivers which could greatly help boost the economy of the province.
Seaweed Farming. Recognizing the limited coastal resource base of the shoreline communities of Sibunag, San Lorenzo, Buenavista and Nueva Valencia, the concerned municipal governments have respectively found Alternative means to augment incomes in their respective municipal jurisdictions.
Seaweed capture has been identified as one alternative income generator for coastal communities. The Office of the Municipal Agriculture Services provides the technical backstopping and Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources provide the technology support, propagation materials and seaweed cultivation skills training. But even with the existing production support and guarantees for an augmented the income base of local households has not been enough as experienced by Sibunag. Foremost, there was the commonly experienced problem with traders screwing up the selling position of sea farmers; the former buying the seaweeds at a very low price and the latter naively giving in just so to earn an income for the moment. There was also the problem of capabilities of seaweed farmers.
In addressing the Seaweeds Industry Problem Chain, based on the experience of Sibunag, these were undertaken: Finding the Right Market Connections; Training Seaweed Farmers as Entrepreneurs; Tapping Additional Financing for Consolidating Growing Volume of Seaweed Capture; Establishing a Buying Station for Seaweeds to facilitate the consolidation of seaweeds and cash flow for people; and Hastening Recovery from the Oil Spill Tragedy which happened in August 2006.
When Sibunag started with the seaweed industry, it had achieved a production and marketing
capacity of 10 tons per 1.5 month cycle from 12 hectares. Prior to the oil spill tragedy, it reached 16-20 tons. Currently, it is working its way towards recovery. Thus far, its capacity is at 12 tons now and targeting to exceed 20 tons, above the peak of its past performance.
There is a lack of planting materials however to hasten economic recovery in Sibunag. The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Self-Employment Assistance – Kaunlaran (SEA-K) Program provided support for the seaweed rehabilitation efforts through its purchases of needed planting materials locally sourced, from the town of San Lorenzo.
The General Impact of the Seaweed Industry. The municipality of Sibunag is successful with its project developing quite fast as expected. In less than a year, it was able to sell in big volumes and break into the markets of Cebu with its dried seaweed. The industry has steadily improved and has sustained the income sources of seaweed growers which started with 18 registered members in 2004 to 218 in 2006. As it was not much affected by the oil tragedy compared to other coastal barangays such as in Nueva Valencia, the industry complemented with the resiliency of the townfolks is fast recovering and expected to exceed its past peak performance.
The municipality of Nueva Valencia has been likewise successful in seaweed farming. It pursued the standard marketing and pricing strategies as Sibunag did; in fact it embarked on the program prior to the time Sibunag did and initially generated substantial employment opportunities for shoreline communities. Without intending, illegal fishing, that is, fishing using dynamite and cyanide, has now become a history in the municipality.
All households at the shorelines of the town were positioned to increasingly augment incomes from this livelihood opportunity. Progress was anticipated to be high, higher than in Sibunag but this was however interrupted by the solar oil spill tragedy in 2006 as this town was first and worst hit.
Nonetheless, as of 2008, the municipality is trying to move forward. Inspired by the resiliency of Sibunag, it is reviving the industry at the same time taking advantage of new opportunities presented to the town after the tragedy.
What makes the seaweed different from the past undertaking is that the farmers are now looking beyond being mere providers of materials to traders with the substantial income of seaweeds farming going to the latter while the seaweeds farmers themselves are not getting enough.
From a low seaweed unit selling price of P4.00, the farmers using the farmer-entrepreneurship approach achieved getting an average seaweed selling price of P28.00. Farmers sell their dried seaweed to the association itself, their recognized group, the one that brings and sells the seaweed to Cebu wherein it is sold at P38.00, a mark up of P10.00. The income of course goes back to the association members which effectively increased the sub-sector’s income level.
VII. Industry Sector
Food Processing is another economic potential which will significantly boost the province’s economy as it also contributes in increasing the Services Sector.
Among the industries in the Region 6, Food Processing accounts for a large share. Among the 6 provinces, Guimaras ranks 3rd (to Negros Occidental) with 13.28 percent share (equivalent to P 3.65 million) in the regional total, of the projected income of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) assisted entrepreneurs.
There are 14 food processors in Guimaras who have organized themselves into the Guimaras Producers and Processors Association (GPPA). They produce fruit preserves which include dried fruits (mango, pineapple, papaya), jams, puree, concentrates and pickles; mainly produced in Jordan and Buenavista; processed nuts like roasted cashew nuts, salted cashew buts, bandi, cashew butter, in Jordan and Nueva Valencia; and delicacies like piaya, mango scotch, polvoron, barquillos, pinasugbo and banana chips.
There are also existing support from concerned various government agencies like Packaging and Label Design from DTI and DOST, Equipment for Processing from DOST, Barcoding from DTI, Technical Consultancy from DOST, and Seminars/trainings on capability buildings from DTI, TESDA, DOST and Local Government Units (LGUs).
There are also obstacles for services/production. On Tourism: there are still many undeveloped/underdeveloped attractions, while some of the existing ones need to increase or enhance their accommodation facilities; product packaging and promotion have to be improved; tourist facilities like waste disposal, washrooms, guest assistance/info areas, etc., also need to be improved; communication facilities and tourism Infrastructure support like ports, access roads, etc. have to be enhanced; more competent frontline service providers should also be in place; there is also a need to increase investments in tourism facilities and services; and the need to improve the investment climate (power rates, investment incentives etc.).
On Mango production: CARP program has negative effects on attainment of production targets since beneficiaries lack financial capability to invest in mango production; mango production is very vulnerable to weather abnormalities (La Niña, typhoon, etc); and the high cost of production inputs particularly chemicals.
Under Cashew: occurrence of prolonged rain during the flowering period can cause zero production; some farmers cut cashew trees for charcoal production; and crude method of nut processing/production.
In Fishery, most fisherfolks have non-motorized bancas and poor fishing gears.
VIII. Transportation, Access and Circulation
1. External Linkages
Guimaras can be reached by air and boat from Manila and other origin, via Iloilo City and Pulupandan, Negros Occidental. It can be reached by ferryboats, pumpboats and other sea-going vessels via Iloilo Strait which is about 2.5 km. in length and Guimaras Strait from Negros. The origin/destination point in Iloilo City are located in Ortiz Street and Parola for pumpboats and Muelle Loney for ferryboats, both with regular trips. Travel time is about 15 to 20 minutes. There are regular trips from Guimaras via San Lorenzo, with five pumpboats to Negros Occidental and vice-versa via Pulupandan and Valladolid. Pumpboats, because of their size and speed, have the advantage over the ferry in terms of the number of trips made, at most six trips per day. They may also be hired for special trips.
The major wharves in the province are the following:
Ø Jordan Wharf, Rizal, Jordan
Ø MacArthur Wharf, Sto. Rosario, Buenavista
Ø Tacay Wharf, Tacay, Buenavista
Ø M. Chavez Wharf, M. Chavez, San Lorenzo
Ø Suclaran Wharf, San Lorenzo
Ø Tumanda-Cabano Wharf, Cabano, San Lorenzo
Ø Puyo Wharf, Poblacion, Nueva Valencia
Ø Cabalagnan Wharf, Cabalagnan, Nueva Valencia
The wharves are utilized for passenger transport and hauling of products for industrial and commercial purposes to and from Guimaras.
The port in Brgy. Hoskyn, Jordan has been upgraded to accommodate the RORO (Roll-On-Roll-Off) Sea Transport System capable of transporting products, passengers, vehicles and buses. The system is presently plying the route between Iloilo and Guimaras having four round trips per day except Thursday. Meanwhile, the newly established RORO Port in Sebaste, Sibunag will be complementing the RORO port in Hoskyn, Jordan and soon be operational. This can accommodate large vessels that will transport passengers and heavy cargoes to include vehicles and buses to ply the route from Guimaras to Negros and vice versa.
The province has a Feeder Airport in Barangay Mclain, Buenavista with an 18 m. x 6 km. runway and four meters shoulders on both sides.
There is also a private airstrip in Inampologan island, Sibunag primarily for tourism.
Observable major concerns on sea/water transport include: unimproved port/wharf facilities, inconvenient and limited space for docking areas.
2. Internal Circulation
All the five municipalities and most barangays within the province are accessible by land transport. However, three island barangays can only be reached by pumpboats. The various modes of transportation available within the province are jeepney, tricycle, vans and single motorcycles. Motorboats and sailboats are the means of transport to the island barangays.
There is a total of 128.96 kilometers national road in the island province, mostly paved with concrete and asphalt concrete at 72 percent of the entire length, as of 2008. A length of 110.65 kilometers is concentrated on the circumferential.
Based on the 2008 report of Provincial Engineering Office and DPWH, Guimaras District, the total length of roads existing throughout the Province is 747.011 kilometers. A large percentage (79.48%) is yet unpaved. Overall, only about 21% of the entire road length is paved. It also shows that 72% of the national roads, 42 percent of the provincial roads and only 2 percent of municipal/barangay roads are paved.
Among the road sections Rizal-Jordan (Pob.), Jordan-Piña, Jordan-San Miguel, San Miguel-Constancia - Cabano, San Miguel - Sebaste, Concordia-Oracon - Botconaway and portion of circumferential road from Sto. Rosario to Suclaran, are considered of high importance for these serve as connections to major ports/wharves, the urban centers, as well as the tourism destination sites.
For better accessibility and stronger linkage, portions of the circumferential road that are yet unpaved and the road sections connecting to ports and other tourism destination areas, are considered priority for improvement.
The province’s road network is currently sufficient in terms of density. This is due to the fact that new road constructions are being undertaken every year to provide access to areas not previously covered. However, the challenge is the proper maintenance of these road sections to make it passable year-round. Upgrading of existing gravel and earth road sections into concrete or asphalt pavements will be pursued.
IX. Income, Employment, Service Access and Poverty
1. Employment and Unemployment Rates and Trends
The employment rate of Guimaras decreased by 1.5 percentage points from 92.30 percent in 2000 to 90.8 percent in 2003.
The provincial employment rate in 2000 was higher by 3.4 and 2.4 percentage points in the regional and national rates, respectively. Guimaras was the second highest province, next to Capiz, in terms of employment rate in 2000. In 2003, Guimaras’ employment rate decreased by 1.50 percentage points, and lower by 0.50 percentage point compared to the regional average. It ranked fourth to Capiz which had the highest employment rate in 2003.
Unemployment rate in Guimaras in 2003 was 9.2 percent, higher by 0.5 percentage point than the region’s 8.7 percent.
Visible underemployment (refers to working less than 40 hours during the reference week and employed persons wanted additional work hours) of Guimaras in 2000 is 24.70 percent (NSO), 2001 - 24.30 percent. 2002 - 24.15 percent, and 2003 - 21.90 percent. Most often Guimaras has the highest underemployment rate in the region.
2. Family Income
The total family income in Guimaras in 1997 was P1.8 billion which increased to P2.6 billion in 2000, reflecting an annual growth rate of 15 percent. Among the 6 provinces in the region, Guimaras has the lowest total family income with only 1.7 percent of the regional total in 1997 and almost 2 percent in 2000. Guimaras’ total family income was only 0.10 percent and 0.12 percent of the total family income in the Philippines in 1997 and 2000, respectively.
The average family income of Guimaras in 1997 was P74,003, second lowest in the region next to Negros Occidental. This figure was lower by 14.7 percent from the regional average. However, this increased annually by 12.2 percent and reached P101,125 in 2000 and this time Guimaras became the second highest in the region next to Iloilo. Yet the 2000 figure was still below the regional average by 7.7 percent, though the gap has reduced by 7 percentage points.
Both the 1997 and 2000 average family income of Guimaras were all lower than the national average.
The real per capita income of Guimarasnon in 1997 was P14,440, it increased annually by an average of 3.8 percent and reached P16,702 in 2000 which is above the annual per capita poverty thresholed of P10,759.00 Guimaras was the second lowest from among the provinces in the region in 1997 and third highest in 2000. Guimaras’ real per capita incomes in 1997 and 2000 were lower than the national figures.
3. Social Services
Medical transportation like ambulance and service vehicles (vans, multicabs) are also available in every local government units even at most barangays.
i. Infant with low birth weight
The rates of infants with low birthweight have been erratic from 2005-2007. But it decreased tremendously from 8.8 in 2006 to 2.92 in 2007, however a much lower rate was registered in 2005 with 2.83. The reasons for the decrease in the infant with low birth weight maybe due to several public health programs being implemented in the province in response to the existing and emerging health problems of the people. These programs are available in the RHUs and BHS.
ii. Morbidity and Mortality Rates
In 2007 as compared with 2006, there is reduction or improvement in almost all health indices like the Crude Death Rate, Infant Mortality (lowest in the region in 2007 and 2nd lowest in 2006), Maternal Mortality and Child Mortality rates, Neonatal Death, Low Birth weight among newborn and Fertility Rate. There is only a very slight increase in the Crude Birth Rate.
The top 10 leading causes of mortality in Guimaras in 2006 are also the same, but with lower rates, with the regional causes (the only year when regional data is available for comparison)
Comparing the morbidity rates of 2006 and 2007, 6 of the leading causes have decreased: URTI, Acute LRTI and Pneumonia, UTI, Skin Diseases, PTB and Anemia, the other 3 increased namely, Injuries, Hypertension and Influenza.
Most of the top leading causes of mortality and morbidity are non-communicable diseases, preventable and related to lifestyles.
iii. Proportion of Children 0-5 years old who died
The proportion deaths among children aged 0 to below 5 years old has been decreasing from 15.33 in 2005 to 2.19 in 2007. This is a concrete result of the interventions made by all stakeholders to improve the situation of the children in Guimaras.
iv. Proportion of children 0-5 years old who are moderately and severely underweight
In 2007, Buenavista has the highest percentage of children aged 0-71 months with Below Normal Low (BNL) and Below Normal Very Low (BNVL). The good performers in 2006 and 2007 is Lorenzo.
From 2005 to 2007 there has been a decreasing trend in the percentage shares of BNVL in the total combined rate from 3 percent to 1.32 percent and to 0.81 percent, respectively.
The nutritional status of children aged 0 to below 6 years old or 71 months has been improving with an average decrease of 3.94 percentage points per year. This good result can be attributed largely to the various programs/projects/activities that have been implemented by LGUs and actively supported by the communities and encouraged them to improve their family health practices or lifestyle.
v. Fully Immunized Children
On FIC, Guimaras ranks number one (top 1) in 2005 as against the other provinces in the region, but declined to number 5 in 2006 primarily because of the change in the formula for computing the FIC which is from 3 percent at 85 percent coverage to 3 percent of the population and 100 percent coverage.
In 2005, Nueva Valencia has the highest percentage in terms of implementing child care with 86.2 percent fully immunized children (FIC). Behind is Sibunag with 66.4 percent FIC. In 2006, San Lorenzo has the highest percentage of FIC while Sibunag has the lowest
vi. Maternal Mortality Rate
The Province of Guimaras has a zero maternal mortality rate in 2005 and 2007, except in 2006 wherein 0.36 incidence, in Jordan and San Lorenzo, has been reported. Consequently, Guimaras ranks first in the region in 2005 and 2007 but only 2nd (from the lowest) in 2006.
The outputs of maternal care programs of pre-natal and tetanus toxoid (TT2 Plus) have been erratic yet from 2005 to 2007 but have increased in 2007 as compared with 2006. Compared with other provinces in the region, Guimaras ranks 3rd (from the top) in 2005 and 4th in 2006.
Nueva Valencia is leading in the implementation of maternal care program in 2005 with 71.2 percent pregnant mothers with 3 or more prenatal visits and 68.3 percent given TT2 plus. Meanwhile Sibunag has the lowest percentage in terms of maternal care implementation. For 2006, San Lorenzo and Jordan are leading while Buenavista has the lowest percentage in maternal care implementation.
Based on the DOH-CHD 6 reports, Guimaras ranks 3rd (from the top) among the provinces in region VI on percentage of pregnant women given TT2 plus in 2005, but declined to 4th in 2006 in terms of TT2 plus.
vii. Health Insurance Coverage
In 2005, aside from Philhealth insurance coverage of government workers and a number of other households, total of 10,461 households was covered by the local Guimaras Health Insurance Program (GHIP) with a 60:20:20 cost sharing scheme (Provincial : Municipal Government : Member), In 2006 it decreased to 8,211 and rose to 14,837 in 2007. The Philhealth indigency program covered a total of 20,220 households in 2006 and 35,057 households in 2007.
Key challenges constraints, priority concerns and areas relevant to the identification of health sector PPAs:
Ø Provide access to health facilities/services especially of the island and far-flung barangays and sitios.
Ø Make affordability of health care services and medicines
Ø Increase coverage of priority health programs
Ø Improve health delivery & effectiveness
Ø Come up with regulations and rules to support various activities
Ø Advocate for healthy lifestyle to Guimarasons
Ø Provide adequate public health nurses, rural sanitary inspectors, barangay health workers and health educators
The simple literacy rate in Guimaras based on the 1990 Census of NSO was 94.97 percent. It also shows that there are more female literates than male. Guimaras’ simple literacy rate is higher than regional rate which were 87.7 percent in July 1989, 91.9 percent in November 1994 and 92.5 percent in 2003.
Using the Basic Education Information System (BEIS) which generates only division wide data, the participation rate of SY 2004-2005 is higher compared that of SY 2005-2006 and SY 2006-2007. Based on the school-going age population for 2006, the elementary age population (6-11 yrs. Old) is estimated to be 24,517. Of the number, only 18,004 are enrolled in Public Elementary Schools giving a participation rate of 73.43.
Based on the Living Standards Survey done in almost all households provincewide in 2005, on the average 88 percent or majority of the households in Guimaras own their houses, only 12 percent are caretakers and less than 1 percent rent.
In all 5 municipalities, there is very minimal number of households (1.0-1.9 percent) whose houses’ walls are made of salvaged or makeshift wall materials. Sibunag (37percent) has the highest number of households with house walls made of light materials while the least is Jordan with 16 percent.
Compared with the other 2 municipalities (2.1 percent and 2.9 percent), Buenavista (3.9 percent), San Lorenzo (3,8 percent) and Nueva Valencia (3.0 percent) have more households whose houses are seriously dilapidated. Jordan has the most number of households with houses made of sound structures (44 percent).
In all 5 municipalities, there is very minimal number (0.9 – 1.7 percent) of households with salvaged or makeshift roofing materials. Among the 5 municipalities, Sibunag has the highest percentage with light materials roofing followed by San Lorenzo and Nueva Valencia. The nearest comparison which can be made on this type of roofing is only against the 1980 and 1990 available Guimaras data which are 3.5 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively,
which means for 2005 it has again increased. This is due to the increased household population and the inability of the families to buy strong materials and the increasing cost of these materials. Compared with the regional and national data on the percentage of households with salvaged/makeshift roofing materials, the 1980 rate of Guimaras is higher, but in 1990, it became lower than their figures.
Presently, there is an existing housing site for the provincial and municipal employees located in San Miguel, Jordan. This was acquired through deed of donation sometime in 1989.
Police ratio to population in Buenavista is one policeman to an average of 1,804 population from 2005-2007; 1: 1,348 for Jordan; 1:1,694 for Nueva Valencia; 1:1,225 for San Lorenzo and 1:867 for Sibunag. These ratios except for San Lorenzo does not comply with the standard of 1:1,000 population for rural, which means our police force has to exert more efforts and strategies to maintain peace and order in the province by increasing number of police forces and police visibility.
The fire protection service of Guimaras does not comply with the fire protection standard of 1 per 2,000 population. All the 5 municipalities have fire truck but the number of firemen does not meet the standard of 14 per fire truck.
All the 5 municipal LGUs have jails and functional pillars of justice system.
xi. Water and Sanitation
The 2007 Provincial Health Office Report shows that among the 32,621 total number of households provincewide, 29,193 or equivalent to 89.49 percent have access to drinking water of which 18.30 percent were served by Level III system/facilities mostly in the urban areas, 4.67 percent by Level II and 66.52 percent by Level I or point sources. Nueva Valencia has the highest, 99.69 percent of households with access to drinking water but Sibunag has the lowest with 71 percent. This would mean that 3,428 households, or 10.51 percent still have no access to safe water and these are mostly located in remote rural areas.
The exploration and tapping of both ground and surface water sources for use in domestic and commercial/industrial purposes will be pursued under this plan. In line with this, all spring sources will be tapped to establish Level III water supply systems to serve growth centers. Potential ground water sources will also be explored for possible utilization through applicable technologies that can effectively extract groundwater for distribution. The present coverage of Level II systems will be expanded to cover unserved areas while Level I systems will be upgraded. Eventually, this plan aims to serve all growth centers and settlements with Level III system.
As of 2007, 86.41 percent of the total households have access to sanitary toilets. This is a little bit lower compared with the 2006 figure, where there is a decrease of 0.08 percentage points. This decline is caused by the decrease in the percentages of San Lorenzo and Nueva Valencia most probably due to the increase in number of new households and the destruction of old, dilapidated/unusable toilets in which the structures are usually made using light materials. Since 2005 until 2007, Buenavista has the highest households with access to sanitary toilets while San Lorenzo has the lowest
Based on the Guimaras Electric Cooperative’s (GUIMELCO) report of power supply in the province, there are 97 percent of the 98 barangays are already energized and 18,664 out of 29,354 potential consumers or 64 percent are being served by electricity as of 2007. Buenavista has the highest number of households energized while Sibunag has the least.
The Guimaras Electric Cooperative (GUIMELCO) provides the electricity needs in the entire island. Power supply is transmitted through a 2.5 km submarine power cable from a substation in Ingore La Paz, Iloilo City. The substation’s power comes from the Palimpinon Geothermal Plant located in Negros Oriental which is operated by the National Power Corporation (NPC). With the Cooperative’s capacity via the NPC of 5.0 Mega Watts, the province’s power demand of 3.8 Mega Watts can be sufficiently provided. However, due to the disturbances from bad weather, boat anchorage and others, this submarine cable that transmits power from the substation in Iloilo is susceptible to damage or disconnection. Thus, GUIMELCO resorts to the Trans Asia’s Individual Power Plant with the capacity of only about 2.8 Mega Watts, which is below the province’s required electricity, resulting to a power rationing in the island.
There is a need to address the power supply sector by exploring possible options in providing a stable, adequate and inexpensive system in the province. The present submarine cable which is the main power line to the source in Iloilo has reached its full capacity and has deteriorated over the years. The significant increase in power demand for the last ten years and the expected demand to meet the planned development for the next ten years will necessitate the need to establish power generation facilities in the island or establish a new cable connection to Iloilo or Negros to tap on the geothermal plant. Priority should also be given in exploring renewable energy sources such as wind power. Power generation facilities will however need to satisfy environmental compliance and social acceptability aspects.
xiii. Sewerage Facilities
As of to date, sewerage system is still lacking in the province. Flooding in Barangay Poblacion, fronting the Jordan Central School and Municipal Hall, of Jordan, Tastasan, Buenavista, and in Sitio Tinuslukan, Barangay Dolores of Nueva Valencia are remarkable comes the heavy rainfall due to non existence of sewerage facilities.
xiv. Solid Waste Management
The 4 municipalities, except San Lorenzo, have Solid Waste Management Plan. Solid waste collection is being undertaken in urban barangays or built-up areas of Jordan and Buenavista.
The province has two Controlled Disposal Facilities, one in Barangay Bugnay in Jordan and the other in Barangay Pina, Buenavista, while the municipalities of Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo and Sibunag have one open pit dumpsite each. Only the municipalities of Buenavista, Jordan and Nueva Valencia have functional Solid Waste Management Board.
xv. Telecommunication Facilities
Of the five (5) municipalities in the Province of Guimaras, only two (2) have connections to landlines, namely: Buenavista and Jordan.
In 1998, there were 750 connections covering 5 barangays in the Municipality of Buenavista. and operated by the Globelines. Recently, this number of barangays covered is expanded to eleven (11).
In Jordan, the Telecommunication Commissions Office (TELOF), of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology has a telephone load/capacity of 1,944 and now operates in barangays San Miguel and Poblacion with more than 335 total telephone lines installed, for residential, business and public offices. There are also 16 cell sites of Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular in the municipalities. Guimaras also hosts the television transmitters of GMA 6, ABS-CBN 10, IBC 12 and PTV 2.
Based on the Living Standards Survey (LSS ) in 2005, on the average, 33 percent of the households in Guimaras have cellular phones with Buenavista and Jordan having the highest percentage while Sibunag and San Lorenzo have the lowest. Almost 2 percent of the households have telephones with Buenavista having the highest percentage while Sibunag has the lowest.
Almost 61 percent of the households have radio and 45 percent have television sets. Buenavista has the most number of households owning those appliances while Sibunag has the least.
xvi. Other Services and Facilities
The Province of Guimaras has been endeavoring to become a child-friendly province where children are put at the center of the development agenda of the LGUs and ensured that they enjoy all their children rights on survival, development, protection and participation .This effort especially started with the implementation of the child-friendly program since 1999.
The Women and Children Protection Desk in every municipality is functional which means within the standard of one per LGU. The Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) in 72 barangays are functional.
xvii. Indigenous People
There are 128 IP households, with a total population of 633 staying in the four identified areas in the four municipalities (excluding San Lorenzo), namely: Kati-Kati in San Miguel, Jordan; Serum in San Nicolas, Buenavista; Ubog in Lanipe Nueva Valencia; and Sitio Lininguan in Maabay, Sibunag.
Security of land tenure is still a problem of the Aetas particularly in Kati-Kati, San Miguel, Jordan and in Maabay, Sibunag,. They still live in private lands, which they cannot call their own. There is no identified ancestral domain in the province. They still have to accomplish several documentary requirements for the processing of land titles before they can a have a claim in it. Thus, most of them have not yet transferred to the settlement areas. There are also some non- Aetas who are tilling/planting crops in the proposed settlement area. For those who have lived in the settlement/CARP areas, they find their backyard too limited for planting and animal raising.
The other challenges of IP’s include low level of family income, prevalence of out-of-school youth (23 percent of the total children), malnutrition, lack of farming equipment, inadequate water sealed toilets, potable water supply and personal hygiene. Discrimination and bullying at school is still experienced by IP children. Interventions for persons with disability and senior citizen are also given priority in the province.
The poverty incidence of families in Guimaras based on NSCB reduced to 22.6 percent in 2000 from 29.6 percent in 1997, but it increased to 32.70 percent in 2003 and to 35.2percent in 2006.
This means that in 2006 there are 49,790 families who are trying to make their ends meet. The province, however, placed 4th in the ranking in terms of improvement in the poverty incidence among families by region in 2003-2006 from being in the 6th place in 2000-2003 survey.
While Region VI’s poverty incidence has been reducing, in 2000 it is 36.6% while in 2003 it is 31.4 percent and in 2006 it is 31.1percent, Guimaras’ has been increasing and higher than the region for 2003 and 2006 by 1.3 and 4.1 percentage points, respectively .
Guimaras’ poverty incidence in 2006 is higher than both the regional (31.1percent) and national (26.9 percent) rates and ranks Guimaras third from Antique which the highest rate of 43 percent. The annual per capita poverty threshold in 2006 for Western Visayas is Php14,405.00 while Guimaras is Php14,811.00
In terms of improvement in the poverty incidence among families, Guimaras ranked 45 in the whole country from 72 in the 2000-2003 survey.
Based on the NSCB Report on Estimation of Local Poverty in the Philippines in November 2005, Guimaras ranks 44 (from the poorest), second better province (next to Iloilo which ranks 48) in the region. Capiz is 23, Antique – 30, Aklan – 33 and Negros Occidental – 42.
From the same estimation, poverty incidence in the municipal level, San Lorenzo posted the highest poverty incidence at 53.45 percent, while Buenavista has the lowest with 36.86 percent.
There is another indicator which can reflect the socio-economic situation of the people and this is the Human Development Index (HDI) which measures achievements in basic dimensions of human development. HDI is the average of life expectancy, weighted average of functional literacy and combined elementary and secondary net enrolment rate and real per capita income. The higher is the HDI level, the better is the LGU.
Guimaras HDI levels improved from 0.577 in 1994 to 0.622 in 2000. From being third from the highest among the 6 provinces in the region in 1994, Guimaras moved up to second (next to Iloilo) in 2000. Although still below the national average of 0.656 in the year 2000, Guimaras ranked 21 nationally, with Bulacan – 0.76 and Cavite – 0.73 on the top provincial list.
Another measure is the Quality of Life Index (QLI) which is the function of elementary cohort survival, under five nutrition and births attended by trained health personnel. The higher is the QLI or lower is the rank of the LGU the better. Among the 6 province in the region, Guimaras ranked second in 1994, 4th in 1997, and climbed up to 3rd in 1999.
In 2005, Guimaras conducted the Living Standards Survey (LSS) with technical and financial assistance from the Local Enhancement and Development (LEAD) for Health Project. It was a complete enumeration of households in the province. Its primary objective is to determine the socio-economic conditions in the barangay using a poverty instrument which ranks households from highest to lowest according to living standards index. The indicators used representing various dimensions of living standards include: food security and vulnerability ( number of meals served in the past two days, days luxury food served, days food was not enough in the past month, weeks of stock of staple food); housing conditions (ownership of house and lot; quality of roof, wall and floor materials, structural condition of house, electricity use, quality of cooking fuel); water and sanitation (source of drinking water, type of toilet used); and household assets (land, livestock, transport, appliances/electronics).
The results of the LSS reveal that the percentage distribution of households by LSI by quartile and per municipality as follows: Sibunag has the highest percentage, 33.3 percent, of households belonging to the lowest or first quartile, On the other hand, Buenavista has the least percentage with 18.7 percent. There is also similar information available per barangay in every municipality.
x. Land Use and Physical Framework
Under the current land use, Guimaras is the most sparsely populated province in the region with existing built-up areas accounting for 0.62 percent of the total provincial land area, while protection lands have the second biggest share at 29.82 percent followed by protection lands at 25.37 percent. Other areas that include naval reserve, open spaces, areas for pastures, ravines and shrubs represent the biggest share at 44.19 percent.
Guimaras has only one protected area under the NIPAS category, the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMR). Located in the municipality of Nueva Valencia at the southern tip of the island, it covers 41 islets and the coastline of barangays Lapaz and San Roque. It has an aggregate area of approximately 1,143.45 hectares consisting of 183 hectares of terrestrial area and 960.45 hectares of brackish and marine water. It was placed under protected area status by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 525 signed by then president Corazon C. Aquino last February 8, 1990. The area falls under the unclassified public forest category prior to its proclamation as a national reserve. Currently, the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) has proposed the Marine Reserve to be classified as “Taklong-Tandog Island Protected Landscape and Seascape” category
Aside from the naval reserve located in Barangays Sawang and Zaldivar in the Municipality of Buenavista with an area of 39.06 hectares, other areas include areas classified as open spaces, pasture, shrubs and ravines with a total land area of 4,988.59 hectares.
Protected agricultural areas under SAFDZ are irrigated ricelands which are also included in the other areas category of protection land use and are classified under strict protection and “non-negotiable” for conversion. These represent a total of 4,359.59 hectares.