The development of every locality to allow municipalities, provinces and cities to be at part with the current trends in the global village is inevitable considering the growth in the population either through birth or migration. The demand of the people for basic needs is one of the primordial factors in the search for areas where people could establish their permanent sources of livelihood and establish their permanent or temporary residence. The establishment of communities nowadays is anchored on the presence of sufficient space where people could freely move around, create opportunities for sustainable sources of livelihood, among others to be able to raise their families the way they should be able to do it.
In the Cordillera, Kalinga and Tabuk City is being groomed as the potential growth areas where investors could consider infusing their required capital to operate their desired businesses. Admittedly, Baguio City is already overcrowded at the moment. It is a fact that it could no longer accommodate the put up of more businesses that could further enhance its growth, thus, it is venturing on expanding into its neighboring towns of Benguet as possible host of future development projects to sustain its already robust economy. While Kalingga and Tabuk City does not have the unique weather condition that Baguio possesses, the province and the component city boats of its master planned development that could serve as its major come on for investors considering the existence of roads that are compliant to national standards, the presence of peace-loving people and every supportive local officials who have the foresight on how the localities should be and the presence of government support to further improve the state of infrastructure provincewide.
One of the signs of the rapid advancement on Kalinga and Tabuk’s growth potentials is its being the granary of the Cordillera for decades now coupled with the massive infrastructure development through the effort of concerned government agencies whose programs stand to benefit the people in the countryside. Further, Kalinga’s declaration of a tourism development area will also definitely contribute in making tourism as one of its economic drivers because of the abundance of natural destinations in the different towns that have yet to be explored. Once packaged and appropriately promoted, foreign and domestic tourists will surely flock to the province and the city and contribute to its projected growth within a certain period of time.
Another factor which is to the greater advantage of the province and the city is the proposed P5.4 billion Chico River development plan which the national government is supporting. Among the components of the project include the establishment of a tourism hub, business center, airport and a solid irrigation along a stretch of the mighty Chico River to help spur the potential growth of the province. The realization of the project will surely be the core of the overall development opportunities provincewide considering that the concerned government agencies already started providing the funds for it through the so-called multi-year appropriation. White water rafting, which Kalinga has been known for, will surely blossom into a well-oiled industry once the major infrastructure and the air and road travel shall have been put in place in the future.
On the other hand, some sectors expressed their view that the development of Kalinga and Tabuk City as growth areas in the region will eventually result to the overcrowding of the localities, the possible massive land conversion that will result to the loss of their identity as the granary of the Cordillera, the potential extinction of the province’s rich culture and traditions, among others. Moreover, peace and order will also be significantly affected because of the influx of people from various par4ts of the country who want to settle in Kalinga and Tabuk and establish their own sources of livelihood in the area.
We commend the foresight of Kalinga and Tabuk officials in preparing the required comprehensive plans of the province and the city in preparation for its projected expansion as one of the region’s development centers. The preparations that are being done in terms of institutionalizing its development projects will definitely one of the province’s and city’s advantage in attracting the influx of investors considering that its policies are already in place and it will be up to those interested investors whether or not to comply.
While development will have an impact on peace and order and the preservation and protection of Kalinga’s rich culture as well as its environment, the political will of local officials with the support of the people will definitely be a big factor in directing what the province and the city should be. Surely, they will not succumb to whatever pressure that will significantly affect the Kalinga culture but they will lead in its preservation and protection for the benefit of the present and future generation.
We believe that Kalinga officials know and understand the negative impacts of development to peace and order and cultural preservation that is why we understand that it is the one that is being effectively and efficiently addressed so that it could be passed on to the coming generations and even if Kalinga will reach its peak development potentials, the culture and heritage will still be there lording it over.