2.4 BROAD REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
To pursue the regional development vision, a two-pronged strategy founded on CAR’s physiographic characteristics is adopted which are (a) the spatial approach, and (b) the convergence of key focus areas.
The region adopts a bi-polar spatial development strategy having growth nodes in the BLIST Cluster and the ECCGC or East Central Cordillera Growth Corridor (Tabuk and Rizal in Kalinga, Paracelis in Mt. Province, and Alfonso Lista in Ifugao). These two growth nodes will catalyze regional economic integration, from which developments will spill over to outlying areas, thus promoting forward-backward linkages of resource-based industrial activities. The BLIST shall be the primary service center and regional governance capital while the ECCGC shall serve as the agro-industrial corridor. The rest of the region follows the traditional type of dispersed settlement patterns cognizant of its cultural and environmental setting.
The central part of the region, having slopes of 50 percent and above and covering mostly mossy/pine, old growth forest and NIPAS areas, shall generally be for protection and conservation zones. The lowland areas, located mostly in Kalinga, Apayao, Mt. Province and Abra, would be the primary settlements and major production sites owing to their rich agricultural resources.
Key Focus Areas (KFAs) of Development
The KFAs are focused on (a) laying the basic requisites for regional development, (b) exploring the region’s comparative advantages, and (c) capitalizing on regional competence and specialization.
Basic requisites for regional development
comprise of making the region a showcase for good governance through regional autonomy, the stronghold of total social and human development, bastion for indigenous culture and knowledge and, efficiently integrated centers of growth and development. Exploring the areas of comparative advantage makes CAR the watershed cradle and balanced ecosystem model, a major hydro-energy producer, an ecotourism destination, and greens and ornamental grocer. By capitalizing on the region’s competence and specialization, CAR shall become a prime educational center and known where knowledge-based industries and innovations as well as resource-based industrial activities flourish.