regionís croplands consist of areas devoted to rice, corn,
coconut, abaca, sugarcane and other crop commodities. These are
located within alienable and disposable lands and public lands
regardless of tenure status. Within the croplands there are
179,692 hectares of prime lands devoted to rice production.
Some 116,064 hectares of those prime lands are fully irrigated
while 63,628 hectares are non-irrigated. The irrigated rice
lands are found within the Bicol River Basin area in the
provinces of Albay and Camarines Sur. These areas, however, are
subjected to yearly flooding and siltation as calamities
regularly occur. The Irosin-Juban valley in the Sorsogon
province is another area where big tracts of rice land can be
Palay production increased at an
annual average of 2.3 percent for the last eight years. Such
good production is associated with the prevalence of favorable
weather condition in the region; when calamities strike,
production goes down (as in 1998 when a drought and a strong
typhoon visited the region).
Among the provinces, Camarines Sur
remains as the regionís rice granary, accounting for more than
half of the regionís palay production. In terms of area
harvested, the last eight years saw an annual decline of 1.4
percent. From a high 305,140 hectares in 1996, this declined to
277,136 hectares in 2003. Among the provinces, Albay had the
highest rate of decline at 4.5 percent per year. The average
yield of palay increased by 4.07 percent per year or from 2.14
metric tons per hectare in 1996 to 2.75 metric tons per hectare
in 2003. Camarines Sur and Albay realized high palay average
yields. However, the regionís average yield for palay was still
low when compared to the national average yield of 3.37 metric
tons per hectare.
The volume of corn production
declined at an average of 5 percent annually for the last eight
years. The 1996 production of 101,482 metric tons went down to
66,361 metric tons in 2003. Albay experienced the most rapid
decline at 8.6 percent per year. In 1996, Albay was the leading
corn producer of the region, accounting for 41 percent of the
total regional production. In 2003, Albay slid to third
position, contributing only 25 percent of the regionís total
corn production. Except for the province of Masbate, all Bicol
provinces experienced a decline in corn production.
The area harvested for corn,
likewise, declined at an average rate of 4.6 percent (from
120,140 hectares in 1996 to 81,762 hectares in 2003). Albay and
Catanduanes recorded the most rapid drops in area harvested.
The leading corn producing province was Masbate, with 60 percent
of the total regional area for the year 2003. The regional
average yield of corn for the last eight years ranged from 0.74
to 0.86 metric tons per hectare. This fared badly with the
national average yield of 1.62 to 1.92 metric tons. While the
regional average yield remained constant, the national average
yield increased. Among the provinces, Camarines Sur had the
highest average harvest of 1.48 metric tons per
Coconut production increased by an
average of 15.6 percent per year, from 758,750 metric tons in
1997 to 1,232,615 metric tons in 2001. Masbate and Camarines
Sur remained as the leading coconut producing provinces of the
region. Camarines Sur registered the highest annual increase in
production at 51.2 percent.
In terms of area harvested, the
period 1997 to 2001 posted a decline of 1.9 percent every year.
Except for those of Camarines Sur and Masbate, the area
harvested for coconut among all other Bicol provinces shrunk
with Camarines Norte having a declining rate of 5.4 percent
every year. Except for Catanduanes, however, all Bicol
provinces increased their average yields of coconut. Camarines
Sur registered the highest increase in average production at
47.7 percent. Masbate attained the highest average yield at
4.91 metric tons in 2001. Coconut is highly susceptible to
strong winds, hence, its average output is totally affected by
the occurrence of typhoons.
The regionís abaca hectarage during
the said period declined by 0.01 percent per year, which was
greatly felt in Catanduanes that experienced the highest rate of
decline at 3.13 percent per year. The average yield of abaca
increased by 5.35 percent per hectare per year compared to the
national average yield of 800 kilograms per hectare. Bicolís
average yield was very low at 300 to 350 kilograms per hectare
Abaca production had fluctuated from
1997 to 2001, although it registered a 0.3 percent increase per
year. Catanduanes led the abaca producing provinces, accounting
for more than half of the total regional production. Sorsogon
was a far second with 20 percent of the total. Camarines Sur
and Catanduanes also boosted their abaca production while Albay,
Camarines Norte and Sorsogon experienced waning outputs.
Area harvested for abaca declined by
an average of 2.2 percent per year. The downtrend was
experienced by all provinces, except Camarines Sur. Albay had
the highest rate of decline at 8.2 percent per year. The
average yield of abaca increased by 2.4 percent per hectare per
year. Compared to the national average, Bicolís yield was very
low at 0.41 to 0.53 metric tons per hectare.
The province of Camarines Sur had
the only commercial growing area for sugarcane in the Bicol
region. From 1997 to 2001, its sugarcane production increased
by 4.1 percent per year (or from 216,587 metric tons in 1997 to
252,235 metric tons in 2001).
Area harvested for sugarcane also
increased by 2.2 percent per year. As of 2001, total area
harvested for sugarcane was 6,913 hectares. The average yield
of sugarcane per hectare increased by 0.5 percent or from 34.12
metric tons in 1997 to 36.49 metric tons per hectare in 2001.
Compared to the national average yield, Bicolís average was only
57 of the national figure.
The volume of mango production grew
by 14.1 percent or from 887 metric tons in 1996 to 1,170 metric
tons in 2002. Camarines Norte registered the bulk of the
increase with an annual growth rate of 144.5 percent; likewise
for Sorsogon, albeit with 2.6 percent. All other Bicol
provinces experienced drops in their mango yield.
Area harvested for mango increased
by 24.8 percent per year. The greatest increase in area
harvested was in Camarines Norte at 717 percent. Albay,
Catanduanes and Masbate did not experience a change in their
mango production areas. Average yield of mango declined by 4.3
percent per year. All Bicol provinces had declining average
yields of mango with Camarines Sur having the highest at 15.3
percent decline every year.
Banana production experienced a 35.5
percent annual growth rate from 1996 to 2002. Except for
Catanduanes, all Bicol provinces had increasing banana
production. Albay had the highest growth rate at 101 percent
followed by Sorsogon with 98 percent. Since banana production is
highly susceptible to strong winds, its 1998 yield went down to
around 25,500 metric tons due to a strong typhoon that hit Bicol.
In terms of area harvested, the
region registered an 11.6 percent average increase per year. The
highest increase was registered in Albay province with 58.6
percent. Camarines Sur had the highest area harvested for
banana at 9,539 hectares in 2002. This represents almost half
of the total area harvested for banana in 2002. Average yield
of banana for Bicol is 3.44 metric tons. This is approximately
one-fourth of the national average yield of 13.23 metric tons
per hectare. Except for Catanduanes, all Bicol provinces
attained increases in annual average yield. The highest average
yield was registered in Albay at 12.61 metric tons per hectare.
Pineapple production increased by an
average of 5.5 percent per year from 1996 to 2002. Its bulk
came from the province of Camarines Norte, which accounted for
94 percent of the regional production. Except for Catanduanes,
all other Bicol provinces had increasing trends in pineapple
The overall area harvested for
pineapple decreased by 0.5 percent per year. Sorsogon had the
largest average of 12.6 percent increase in area harvested for
pineapple while Camarines Sur had only 1.1 percent average. The
average yield of pineapple increased by 6.2 percent per annum.
The highest average yield was in Camarines Norte at 26.77 metric
tons per hectare in 2002.
The volume of calamansi production
had been decreasing by an average of 9.2 percent per year from
1996 to 2002. Among the provinces, only Sorsogon registered an
annual average increase in production of 6.7 percent. Camarines
Norte, a leading calamansi-producing province in 1996 (with
2,228 mt), slumped in 2002 as it dipped to only 221 metric tons,
roughly 10 percent of its 1996 production level.
In contrast to the decline in the
volume of production, the area harvested for calamansi increased
by 1.6 percent per year. Sorsogon had the highest increase at
6.7 percent per annum while that for Camarines Sur increased by
0.6 percent. The average yield of calamansi per area harvested
declined by 9.9 percent per year. Camarines Norte registered
the most drastic drop from 27.17 metric tons per hectare in 1996
to 2.8 metric tons per hectare in 2002. In contrast, the
national aveage yield of calamansi increased by 16 percent per
Camote production from 1996 to 2002
declined by an average of 6.1 percent per year or from 169,877
metric tons in 1996 to 107,237 metric tons in 2002. Camarines
Sur was the leading camote producing province despite the 8.6
percent annual reduction in its volume output (from 117,352
metric tons in 1996 to 56,832 metric tons in 2002).
The area harvested for camote
decreased by 4.7 percent per year from 1996 to 2002. Only the
province of Albay increased its area harvested for camote with a
3.6 percent growth rate. The average yield per hectare declined
by two percent per year. Masbate and Sorsogon had increased
average yields while the rest of the provinces experienced
Cassava production declined by an
average of 5.1 percent during the period 1996 to 2002 (from
224,951 metric tons in 1996 to 156, 521 metric tons in 2002).
Masbate and Sorsogon had increased cassava production, although
their shares of the regional production were minimal. Camarines
Sur remained as the leading cassava producing province,
accounting for more than 80 percent of the regional output.
Area harvested to cassava increased
by an average of 1.2 percent per year. The province of
Camarines Sur increased its area harvested by an average of 3.2
percent per year. In 1996 the average yield of cassava was
7.69 metric tons per hectare. This went down to five metric
tons per hectare in 2002.
Cabbage production form 1996 to 2002
declined by an average of 11.3 percent per year (from 2,188
metric tons in 1996 to 699 metric tons in 2002). Albay,
Camarines Sur and Sorsogon were the cabbage producing provinces
of the region. Albay produced 1,746 metric tons in 1996 but
this went down to 311 metric tons in 2002.
Area harvested to cabbage declined
by 11 percent per year (from 270 hectares in 1996 to only 91
hectares in 2002). Albay, which used to have 207 hectares
devoted to cabbage production had only 33 hectares as of 2002.
Average yield of cabbage declined by 0.9 percent per year.
The volume of eggplant production in
1996 was 5,942 metric tons but this went down to 5,255 metric
tons in 2002. The average annual decrease was 1.9 percent.
Albay, the leading eggplant producing province, yielded 3,701
metric tons in 1996. This declined to 2,414 metric tons in 2002
for a 5.8 percent annual decrease.
Area harvested to eggplant decreased
from 1,204 hectares in 1996 to 1,169 hectares in 2002. In Albay,
the decrease was 4.3 percent per year while in Camarines Sur it
increased by 2.6 percent per year. The average yield of
eggplant went down by 1.5 percent per year. From 4.94 metric
tons per hectare in 1996 this dropped to 4.5 metric tons per
hectare in 2002.
Garlic is grown in the provinces of Albay and Camarines Sur.
The volume of garlic production dropped sharply from 397 metric
tons in 1996 to only 13 metric tons in 2002. In 1996,
Camarines Sur produced 360 metric tons but this dropped to nine
metric tons in 2002. Area harvested also decreased from 102
hectares in 1996 to 5 hectares in 2002. Average yield also
decreased from 3.89 metric tons per hectare in 1996 to only 2.6
metric tons per hectare in 2002.
Pili production improved by an average of 15.6 percent per annum
or from 2,156 metric tons in 1998 to 3,833 metric tons in 2003.
Among Bicolís provinces, Sorsogon and Albay were the leading
pili producing provinces. Catanduanes and Camarines Norte had
minimal pili production, while Masbate had negligible yield.
Area planted to pili increased by an average of 7 percent per
year. Sorsogon had the highest increase in area planted (from
716 hectares in 1998 to 1,133 hectares in 2003). The number of
pili-bearing trees increased from 66,567 in 1998 to 98,390 in
Coffee production from 1997 to 2001
declined by an average of 11.5 percent per year (from 1,534
metric tons in 1997 to 830 metric tons in 2001). Among the
provinces, only Sorsogon had an increased volume of production
at 46.2 percent per year. Camarines Norte had declined most in
production at 23.3 percent per year.
Area harvested for coffee likewise
declined by 1.5 percent per year, the most rapid having been
registered in Albay at 8.1 percent. In 1997, the total area
harvested for coffee was 3,390 hectares, by 2001 this was
reduced to 3,189 hectares. Average yield declined by 10.6
percent per annum (from 450 kilograms per hectare in 1997 to 260
kilograms per hectare in 2001). Among the provinces, only
Sorsogon registered an increase in average yield (from 200
kilograms per hectare in 1997 to 590 kilograms per hectare in
Livestock and poultry production areas refer to lands where
animals and poultry are raised. Pasture lands, most of which
were located in the province of Masbate, dominated the areas
devoted to livestock raising in the region (as of 1988 there
were 109,355 hectares in Bicol). Most of the livestock produced
in the region, however, came from small farms. Animals were
raised in coconut lands as pasture areas. Hog raising was also
of the backyard type with few commercial growers. Similarly
poultry production is with a handful of commercial egg producers
located mostly in Baao, Camarines Sur and Ligao City in Albay.
Inland fishing areas of the region consisted of lakes, rivers,
streams and creeks. These areas occupied 4,419 hectares, where
freshwater fishes like bangus, tilapia and carp were grown. The
regionís lakes are mostly located in Camarines Sur, where Bato,
Baao and Buhi lakes are found. Tilapia growing in fish cages is
dominant in these lakes. Estuarine areas are also present in
the region. These are devoted to fishponds where bangus and
prawns are produced. As of 1988, there were 10,279 hectares of
fishponds in the Bicol Region.
the regionís 1.76 million hectares land area, approximately 33.8
percent (595,708.56 hectares) were covered with mineral
production sharing agreements (MPSAs), financial and technical
assistance agreements (FTAAs), exploration permits (EPs),
industrial permits (IPs), and mining lease contracts (MLCs).
These are located mostly in the provinces of Camarines Norte,
Camarines Sur and Masbate. Approved mining rights which are
mineral lands cover 3,306.52 hectares.
Mining activities in the region can be divided into two areas,
the non-metallic and metallic sectors. The non-metallic sector
is relatively stable. This is due to the availability of
processing plants within the country. The metallic sector always
experiences fluctuation in prices and its price is dictated by
the world demand for metals. Not unless our country will have
its own processing and manufacturing plants will the metal
prices be stable locally.
Approximately 95 percent of the region had been geologically
mapped in a scale of 150,000 wherein potential mineral
occurrences had been identified. These known minerals are point
locations. Geo-hazard mapping is an on-going activity of the
Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau.
Bicol is rich in human and natural resources and is blessed with
the world-famous Mayon volcano, six natural parks, 11 forest
reserves, 19 waterfalls, 203 caves, six lakes, a number of hot
and cold springs, 14 dormant volcanoes and two active volcanoes.
In addition, there are long stretches of fine back, white and
cream beaches along coastlines of coastal municipalities for
beach lovers and snorkeling.