- Public Service
Isabela, the second largest province in the Philippines, is situated in the northeastern part of Luzon. It is bounded in the north by the province of Cagayan, on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Aurora and on the west by the provinces of Kalinga, Apayao, Mt. Province and Ifugao. It's capital town, Ilagan 398 kilometers north of Manila, can be reached in 45-minute air travel.
The province of Isabela is close to developed Asian economies such as Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. It is strategically located between the port of Cagayan Economic Zone and other fast paced development centers in the country such as Subic and Clark Freeports: The potentials the province is further strengthened through the establishment of Isabela Special Agro- Industrial Economic Zone.
The province of Isabela, considered the "Queen Province of the North", has 35 municipalities and 2 cities. It has an aggregate area of 1,066,456 hectares (10,664.56 sq. kilometers) representing 39.74 percent of the regional territory. It is divided into three physiographical areas:
Eastern Isabela is rugged and thickly forested. The massive Sierra Madre Mountain range straddles the entire length of the province from north to south. There is a vast natural park, home to a variety of wildwife, considered world's number eight in biodiversity complex.
Coastal Isabela which is generally flat to rolling is distinguished by 113 kilometers shoreline facing the Pacific Ocean. Isabela's vast fishing grounds, beautiful bays, caves, small islands and white beaches are found here.
Western Isabela is a vast, sprawling, fertile valley hemmed in by the Sierra Madre foothills in the east and the Cordillera Central foothills in the west. This flat and rolling area is subdivided into little valleys and sub-plains by many rivers and rivulets, the most notable of which is the Cagayan River, the longest river in the Philippines.
The province has a wide expanse of rich agricultural lands suitable to a wide variety of agricultural commodities. As of 2009, the total cropland area is 388,800.01 hectares, 35% or 133,214 hectares of which is actually planted with rice and 35% or 135,921.5 hectares is actually planted with corn. Potential area for crop production expansion is 119,664.5 hectares or 30% of the total cropland.
Isabela is one of the most progressive provinces of the Philippines having been adjudged as the most outstanding province on food security in the Gawad Sapat Ani Awards 2000. For corn production, Isabela ranks first among the top ten corn producing provinces for cy 2004, contributing 15.70% to national production. For rice production, Isabela contributes to around 13.05% of the country's output. The unprecedented increase in palay production of Isabela made the province the "Hybrid Rice Champion" of the Philippines. Isabela has already earned the distinction of being a major food supplier to the rest of the country particularly in rice and corn.
Inland Water And Marine Resources
Isabela also boasts of a lengthy range of seacoasts in the eastern area, particularly in Palanan, Maconacon, Dinapigue and Divilacan bays,that are rich in untapped fisheries and aquatic resources. In terms of inland fishing, it has 1,108 hectares of developed freshwater fishpond and 450 hectares of fish cage culture project at the Magat Dam Reservoir. Its rivers, streams and ponds as well as about 815 hectares communal waters, 11,046 hectares of lakes and swamps and several hundred kilometers of irrigation canals are potential fish production areas.
Forestland covers 54.37% or 579,819 hectares of Isabela's total land area of which 62% is protection forest and 38% is production forest. The best quality of timber resources in the Philippines is found in Isabela's forest. Isabela's vast forest resources are now being ecologically manage to effect sustainable forest- based resource not only for the wood working industry but to secure a balanced ecosystem.
Mineral And Energy
Also found in the province are large deposits of copper, gold, zinc & chromite, manganese and nickel. It has extensive deposits of non- metallic minerals such as limestone, clay, marbles, guano, sand & gravel, and boulders. Indigenous energy sources such as natural gas and hydroelectric capabilities have been found to be abundant in the valley. Many of its mineral reserves have yet to be fully tapped.
Livestock And Poultry
Cattle are commercially bred in the vast grazing areas of the province which is conductive for large animals as well as small animal production. Commercial poultry raising is also a booming industry as manifested by existence of contact growers.
Transportation Facilities And Services
Travelling to any part of Isabela is made easy by extensive and well-paved road network of 8,669 linear meters. Several private bus companies and public utility vehicles service various routes. The Cauayan Domestic Airport is the destination point of commercial airlines in Cagayan Valley. Airport facilities include a state- of- the- art Flight Station / Tower equipped with the most modern terminal navigational aide including Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Ranging (DVOR). The runaway has total length of 2,500 meters and 30 meters wide designed to accommodate big aircrafts like Boeing 737s and C-130 wide bodied planes. Four active airstrips are located in Palanan, Maconacon, Dinapigue and Divilacan.
The province is just a call away from the rest of the country and the world. National & International direct dial-up satellite and computer- aided communication and cellular phone services are available in the area. Television Programs from around the world are accessible via cable TV carriers and local broadcasting companies.
Electricity And Water Supply
The 540- megawatt Magat Dam Provides irrigation to the province and supplies electricity to the entire Region II and other parts of the country. Isabela's power supply is being provided by the National Power Corporation and distributed by two local electric cooperatives – ISELCO I & II. The province has several water supply facilities. Piped- water system is established in almost all the municipalities and is served by the Local Water Utility Administration or water district offices.
Trading And Business Center
The cities of Santiago and Cauayan are the major trading areas in the province. Ilagan is the 1st district and Roxas in the 2nd district are fast becoming trade centers as well. The province now emerges as a business and industry hub in the region as manifested by steady rise of big commercial centers and franchising business.
Development of Tourism Industry
Overall tourism objectives of the province is the development of tourism industry to significantly contribute to the economic and social development of local residents.
The province boasts of a lengthy range of virgin and untapped forests, sea coasts and white sand beaches as well as fishery and aquatic resources.
The Isabela coastal municipalities consist of Maconacon, Divilacan, Palanan and Dinapigue. All of which are within the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP), a vast portion of Isabela which is declared by law as protected area.
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