Today, I feel fortunate to have attended a presentation on a Sustainable Development model conceived by people from the Development Academy of the Philippines. The idea of the model is to promote true poverty reduction from the really grassroots level, the poorest of the poor through agro-industrialization.
Vince Roxas, son of former Bancom Development Corp. (Bancom) president Sixto K. Roxas, explained the development in rural areas led by real estate developers is not a model that truly sustains Philippines’ economic development.
Real estate development makes Philippines a net importer of food, an exporter of raw materials or agricultural products, and and exporter of sadly, overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
As soon as a real estate developer constructs a mall, areas surrounding it gets to have land value appreciation. Then, even agricultural areas get sold out and are converted into residential/industrial area, leaving farmers and prospective agriculture entrepreneurs without land to till. Meanwhile, that community flourishes because farmers and their families go abroad, and that OFW money flows back to the once rural area and prompts a more intensified consumer consumption, thereby appearing to contribute to rural development. The cycles just goes on, and more OFWs go abroad, eventually becoming detached to their old community as even his own land is sold off. Farmers are left without jobs, and the farm sector dies in that area. The cycle goes on as real estate developers transfer to another rural area.
The development model though proposed by SKR is one where Philippines taps its own natural resources, intellectual/human capital for its own use, produce goods that may be consumed here and in export markets–enabling a more sustainable development through agro-industrialization.
I was in this presentation as part of a team from the private sector, Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (PCAFI) where I do PR work.
Bohol Governor Arthur C. Yap (a former Department of Agriculture secretary) was there not only to listen to the SKR model presentation, but to offer Bohol to PCAFI businessmen as an investment destination. He wants businessmen to take part in this sustainable development to be piloted in Bohol. One town I remember as a suggested area of investment is Ubay– ideal for dairy carabao business.
Bohol appears to be an auspicious investment area, according to DVF Dairy Inc. President Danilo V. Fausto, as other businessmen have already infused investments there– including Philip Ong (bangus).
Other sectors represented in the meeting to possibly look at investment opportunities are Lawyer Elias Jose Inciong of the United Raisers and Broilers Assn and Gregorio San Diego of the Egg Board.
I joined PCAFI and the DAP group with Bohol Governor Arthur C. Yap in this photo. I’m at the extreme right (in black)
Vince said Dr. William Dar, DA secretary, wants the SKR model to be piloted in if I recall it right, Alaminos, Pangasinan. However, as I recall, SKR has proposed it to be implemented in Cauayan, Isabela.
The idea of this SKR model really stands on findings based on empirical data carried out by SKR’s group. I hope to write a blog further on this development. (Melody M. Aguiba)