TUBA, Benguet – The municipal government is setting its sights on agriculture and tourism as the major economic drivers of the municipality once the existing large-scale mining operation of Philex Mining Corporation will end by 2022.
Mayor Ignacio R. Rivera claimed that the town’s first class status is dependent on its income derived from the operation of Philex Mining corporation, thus, the local government must exert efforts to look for other means that will generate the needed income that will be lost once mining will come to an end in the next several years so that it will still maintain its first class status.
The local chief executive underscored that tourism and agriculture seem to be the most feasible economic drivers of the locality considering that Tuba is mainly an agriculture-producing municipality aside from the existence of its different tourist destinations and resorts being frequented by residents and tourists alike.
“We must work hard to make agriculture and tourism boom in the next several years so that the local government will have the alternative sources of income once its projected income from mining will come to an end with the projected closure of mine life in the next four year,” Mayor Rivera stressed.
Part of the short, medium and long-term plans of the local government is to establish an agriculture trading and marketing center along Marcos highway that will serve as the premier trading facility of locally produced agricultural crops apart from putting up a government center in the area to help in perking up the local economy.
According to him, the local government was able to acquire some P2.2 million from the agriculture department for the production of cacao in the lowland communities while coffee production will be aggressively promoted to farmers in the upland communities as coffee thrives best in highly elevated areas.
Mayor Viera asserted the need for the local government to maximize the potentials of their acquired demonstration farm that will help in the establishment of a farm school for interested farmers that will contribute in efforts to improve their productivity, especially in the production of agricultural crops that command a higher buying price in the various markets.
Earlier, the management of Philex Mining Corporation projected that its mining operations will end by 2022 if it will not be able to discover potential ore deposits within its neighboring communities for possible extension and expansion of its mine life.
Rivera expressed optimism that all the linkages that he was able to establish during his first three years in office will be enhanced in the coming years to help in improving the status of the municipality and contribute in efforts to uplift the living condition of people, especially the marginalized sectors who rely on the various assistance from the government to be able to hurdle the difficulties of life.
Tuba is a first class municipality that primarily derives its income from the existing operations of Philex Mining Corporation, one of the largest gold and copper producers in the country.