Peaceful Province Putting the Emphasis on Tourism
Misamis Occidental, in northwestern Mindanao, is a fertile land with a thriving agriculture sector and significant tourism appeal. Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park, one of 30 ASEAN Heritage Parks, is located in the province, which is also known for its coconut, rice and rubber production as well as fishing.
Herminia D. Ramiro, Governor, says that her government is focusing on tourism promotion. Misamis Occidental is already the region’s number three destination in arrivals per year. She explains, “Eco-tourism is up and coming in Misamis Occidental. Unlike previous governments, my government is trying to put the spotlight on tourism, and we will soon announce a tourism-sector development strategy. The province is not very industrialized so we are concentrating on preserving our environment and developing tourism.” Misamis Occidental is the home of the Philippine eagle and is known for its diverse flora and fauna.
International support for development projects
Current projects underway include local initiatives that are part of the Philippine Rural Development Project. Misamis Occidental is also improving its infrastructure, including through a road-development project supported by the Australian government. The World Bank, the government of the Netherlands and the European Commission are also helping Misamis Occidental make the most of its potential and fight poverty. In the agriculture sector, the provincial government is promoting organic farming and is steadily improving farm-to-market roads.
Misamis Occidental encourages foreign investment in tourism and infrastructure, including hotels and other accommodation facilities. Governor Ramiro says, “This is a peaceful province with no rebel groups. We have built a successful sports complex and we continue to upgrade our road network. We encourage public-private partnerships, and have already had proposals for a new convention center and a new bridge at Panguil Bay to connect to Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental. We welcome new investors!”