Eastern Kalinga begins development as growth center

TABUK CITY – The National Economic and Development Authority Cordillera (NEDA-CAR) partnered with the Provincial Local Government Unit of Kalinga to develop the Eastern Kalinga Growth Center (EKGC) comprised of the local government units (LGUs) of Pinukpuk, Rizal, Tanudan, and Tabuk City. A workshop is scheduled on December 13 in Tabuk City as a follow-up on the agreements set in last year’s workshop on advancing the EKGC.

Elected officials, planning and development coordinators of the three municipalities and one city and their provincial counterparts will meet with NEDA-CAR to formulate a vision statement for the EKGC, review and validate previously identified strategic roles, and formulate development strategies for the growth center.

In an initial workshop held last August 23, 2017, among others, the participants agreed on EKGC as the agri-industrial center of the region. Tabuk City was marked as the primary service center while Pinukpuk shall serve as the primary agri-production and processing center. Tanudan was indicated as the Agri and Eco-Tourism primary center with sites like the Mt. Binaratan.

The Cordillera Regional Development Plan recognizes the EKGC along with the BLISTT area (Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay) as the primary growth centers of the region. The potential of Tabuk City and its neighboring municipalities as a primary growth center is significant given its vast and versatile land area.

Tabuk City is envisioned as a possible regional government center for the Autonomous Cordillera Region (ARC). Cordillera autonomy is the overarching theme of the Cordillera Regional Development Plan since its adoption by the Regional Development Council in 2006.  NEDA-CAR, as the primary planning and development authority in the region, aims to advance development in the EKGC to prevent urban sprawl and congestion, foster inclusive growth, and better prepare the area for the establishment of a Cordillera autonomous government.

By Marlo T. Lubguban

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