The Primary Sector

The agriculture sector remains an important part of and contributor to the economy of the municipality. Belison is primarily an agricultural municipality. Its major thrust for development is based on increased productivity in rice and other agricultural crops. The agriculture and fisheries sector provides food and vital raw materials for the rest of the economy of the town. Food crops are the most important agricultural product. Increase in production is the topmost priority in development. Rising productivity and efficiency in the sector are critical in maintaining the affordability of food and purchasing power, especially among the poor.

Agricultural Crops

Belison having a type of soil which entirely fitted for crops production is agriculture based, fifth class municipality. The top five crops with the highest hectarage are rice followed by banana, sugarcane, coconut and corn. Other agricultural crops planted in the agricultural area are considered as high value commercial crops or secondary crops such as vegetables, fruit trees, legume production, upland farming and for commodity for livestock consumption.

Agricultural Croplands

As per existing Comprehensive Land Use Plan, a total of 1,447.358 hectares classify for agricultural purposes. These account for almost 73% of the total land area of the municipality. Nevertheless, based on the record of the Municipal Agriculture the portion of this area being cultivated for major crops production such as rice, corn, coconut, banana and sugarcane is 1,244.24 hectares in 2016 and it decreases in 2017 with an area of 1,226.75 hectares. The top five crops with the highest hectarage are rice (797.28 has), followed by banana (262.5 hectares), sugarcane (120 hectares), coconut (33.03 hectares) and corn (13.94 hectares). Rice production being the main source of income of the population has the highest share in the total land area for agriculture of which the fully irrigated area is 512.78 hectares, 229.21 hectares is partially irrigated and 55.29 hectares for rainfed.

Due to higher demand in the local market, banana and coconut production had gain importance not only to upland farmers but even to those owning rainfed fields. Although corn and sugarcane products are in demand in the national market, the municipality had declined its area for production for competition reason. Many municipalities within the province had greater areas devoted for corn and sugarcane which produce four times production than the municipality. In 2017, the volume of production of all crop types reached to 885,450.71MT. In terms of rice, being the major crop, its annual production in the whole municipality is 5,109.234MT. Fully irrigated rice farms produce 3,999.684 MT while the remaining 1,109.55 MT were produce within the partially irrigated and rainfed areas. This produces an annual income of P76,638,510.00. Although the product market for rice, corn, coconut and banana is purely local, sugarcane by products such as muscovado sugar are exported abroad due to its good quality.

Commercial crops include coconuts and sugarcane with the latter coming second in terms of the value of production. The increasing demand for muscovado sugar tends to persist not just in the local area but even abroad. It can be noticed that even in local consumption, a great number of production is very needed to supply the demand in sugar and syrups. Around 70% of sugar is for export while the remaining 30% is locally consumed. The area planted to coconut both bearing is almost 33 hectares which enable the farmers to harvest three times a year for the bearing tress (out of the total area of coconut) about 40% of the existing plantation providing income of Php 1,887,600.00 a year. With more developed and improved technologies extended in the field of farming secondary crops on rotation schemes and be able to open new areas for cultivation.

It can be noted that there is an over-all decline in area planted and production from 2016 to 2017 but an increase was registered in the succeeding year. In the early months of 2016, almost 50 hectares of rice were not supplied with irrigation water by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) due to the El Niño phenomenon. An estimated 127.86 metric tons of palay were destroyed when the rainy season came at the last quarter of the year due to La Niña. The twin calamities resulted in the reduction of the total rice production by 2.50 percent in 2017. Banana and coconut being resistant to drought had increased their production to 4.75% and 4.76%, respectively. The comparative agricultural crop areas and production is presented in Table EC-2.

Another thrust of Belison towards increased productivity is the integration of livestock production. Presently, livestock farming is limited to backyard enterprise. Although there is limited commercial scale production, still livestock products are more than enough to supply local demand and consumption. Carabao is just being raised as beast of burden and cattle is raised in a very small scale, however surplus in cattle is very noticeable and these are being sold to local buyers and middlemen. Swine and poultry are raised at backyard level and are usually used for home consumption and whenever there is excess supply, they are sold to local market.

The total land area considered as grassland/pastureland in the existing CLUP is 45.5 hectares which is equivalent to the 2.30% of the total land area of the municipality. With the entry of the dairy processing project, pastureland was planted of Napier grass while native species such as cogon, amorcicos, luy-a-luy-a, carabao grass, giron grows naturally.  Currently, the promising industry develop from livestock is the dairy processing project of the Belison Multi-Purpose Cooperative. This dairy project is an on-going development enterprise which started in 2007, being the first of its kind in Antique is known to be the One Town One Product (OTOP) ticket of the town for the said program of the Department of Trade and Industry. By-products produce are bottled fresh dairy milk comes in different flavors, ice cream and milk bars.

Number and volume of production by type of livestock and poultry

In 2017, there is a total of 1,812 heads of both large and small ruminants in the municipality. Cattle population is the most dominant in number with 880 heads or 48% of the total number of ruminants in the municipality. The increase in the number of cattle is due to the promising dairy processing project of the BMPCI. Carabao being used as draft animals had a total heads of 205 and hog is 727 heads. Poultry production is limited only for ducks and native chicken with 1,604 and 17,291 heads respectively.

The top five barangays (out of 11 barangays) with the most number of carabao populations are: Concepcion, Maradiona, Mojon, Rombang and Poblacion. The three major cattle producing barangays are: Rombang, Concepcion and Maradiona. The top four barangays with the most hog population are Poblacion, Concepcion, Rombang and Delima representing 55.5% ofthe total hog population. The centers of native chicken production are barangays Poblacion specifically in Sitio Igtuba, Buenavista and Maradiona which constitute 47 percent of the total chicken.

 Fisheries

Fishing is one of the active agricultural activity in the municipality. Almost 600 individuals in the municipality are into fishing activities engaging in both marine and inland fishing. The productivity of municipal fisheries, such as small-scale capture fisheries (less than 3 gross ton boats), has been declining, however. This can be partly attributed to overfishing and poor enforcement of fishery laws. Although Municipal Fishery Ordinance was formulated yet it is not fully implemented and already need for updating. Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council both in the municipal and barangay level must be strengthened to help monitor the activities of illegal fishers and in order to achieve its objective for sustainable development. Belison’s potential for fishing is considerable given the needed support by concerned agencies and the private sector.

Inland Fisheries

                                                                                                                                                                                  Bangus (milkfish) and tilapia are the most common species cultured in four harvesting seasons per year within the municipality. Around 3.8 hectares has been devoted to bangus and tilapia culture. Average production per area ranges from 22 to 142 kilograms per harvest (Refer to Table EC-5). Operators source their fry requirements from local fry catchers. A potential for increased fish production lies on the conversion to fishponds of existing swamps and unproductive croplands delineated as strategic fishery sub-development zone.

Municipal Fisheries

Marine fishing is another source of income in six (6) coastal barangays of the municipality off the coast of Sulu Sea. The total area of fishing grounds along these six coastal barangays is 84.28 square kilometers/ 8,428.27 hectares more or less. Marine fishing is carried out by motorized and non-motorized fishing boats. The total number of marine fishermen in 2017 is 309 most of them residing along the six coastal barangays. Annual volume of catch is estimated at 63.7 metric ton which is valued at P7,644,000.00 (Refer to Table EC-4). Like other neighboring municipalities fishing is still done traditionally using nets and seines for sea fishing. Volume of catch varies with the season. December to May has sufficient catch while the stormy months from June to September deter fishermen from going out into the sea. Fish catch are mostly consumed locally or brought to the local markets of neighboring towns there being no cold storage for surplus catch.

Fry catching is also one of the sources of income of the people living in the coastal barangays.

 The current bangus fry production is estimated to 5.5 million giving out an estimated income of P1,000,000.00 to the local fry catchers. Bangus and prawn fry are the common species gathered within the shore of Belison.

 Food Self-sufficiency Assessment

In order to live, there is a need to eat. And to make sure that there is plenty of food for the next population, there is a need to analyze and plan for the future food requirements of the population. Based on the standards recommended by the Food and Nutrition Resource Council in projecting the dietary food requirements, the projected yearly food requirements of the population was commuted for thefollowing commodities being produce within the municipality: milled rice, vegetables, fruits, fish, meat and poultry products, egg, and sugar. Refer to Table 7. It is projected that by year 2027 nine years later from the planning year the total milled rice requirements of the whole projected population is 1,865,580 kgs. The current rice production of the municipality is 5,109,234 kgs. Assuming that the yearly production will be steady within ten years, Belison’s rice production is still much enough for the consumption of the whole population with still have a surplus of 3,243,654 kgs. In terms of fish and meat products, the projected requirement of the total projected population in the ending year of the planning period is 812,430 kgs. The current production of fish and meat products is still enough for the projected consumption of projected population.

Nevertheless, a need to regulate the conversion of agricultural area is very necessary to maintain the surplus of production. At the same time, provision of additional water irrigation system is necessary to anticipate the effect of climate change to agricultural crop production in the near future.

Agricultural Support Facilities and services

In order to ensure the enhancement of agricultural crop production, necessary support facilities and services must be readily available to the farmers. This support facilities and services can either be utilize during production and post-harvest. Although mostly of this support facilities and services are available, yet it is limited to meet the demands of the farming community. Most often competition among farmers in the availment of such facilities and services exist.

Production Support Facilities

One of the important production support facilities present in the municipality is the irrigation system. The National Irrigation System has been operating since 1974 in the municipality through gravitational type of irrigation. Irrigation water is diverted through a run-off type river dam located in Tipuluan River. The system serves an area of 430.66 hectares of riceland unevenly distributed to the 11 barangays of the municipality. It has a capacity of 2,664,000 cubic meters per day, however said volume of water decreases during dry season. Since then, several rehabilitation works were undertaken and extensions of irrigation canals were made to supply more irrigation water to ricefields, yet insufficiency of irrigation water still exist resulting to competition among farmers especially during dry season. Farm inputs and implements such as rice seeds, high value crops seeds and fertilizers. In terms of services, concepts and practice of Integrated Pest Management, Defoliation Simulation Study, Integrated Nutrient Management and Technical assistance on improved farm management practice/modern agricultural technology is extended to farmers in Farmer’s field school. Livestock De-worming and Hemorrhagic Septicaemia Immunization Program is a form of services extended to livestock raisers. This program was done annually to control diseases in large cattle and other livestock. However, technical assistance of the technician can also be provided on call.

Post-harvest Facilities

The most common farm equipment used in the municipality consists of tractors, rice threshers, rice mills, sugar mills, multi-purpose drying pavement and play shed. For fishery sub-sector, a Community Fish Landing Center (CFLC) is constructed in Barangay Borocboroc under BFAR’s umbrella program Targeted Actions to Reduce Poverty and Generate Economic Transformation (TARGET). This CFLC will house post-harvest equipment and tools that will enable fisherfolk to preserve the good quality of their fish and fishery products, which they could sell for a higher price.

The Secondary Sector

Industry is the production of goods or related services within an economy. The major source of revenue of a group or company is the indicator of its relevant industry. When a large group has multiple sources of revenue generation, it is considered to be working in different industries. Enabling the industry and services sectors to contribute significantly to economic growth and employment requires addressing a number of constraints to their development. Strategies shall therefore be pursued to help raise the competitiveness of industries by improving the business environment; raising productivity and efficiency and inculcating quality consciousness among manufacturers and producers to offer quality goods and services comparable with global brands.

 Manufacturing

Most of the industries existing in Belison generally fall into the category of home industries using available local resources as raw materials. One is nipa thatching popular among women and out of school youths using nipa palm leaves as material. The finished products were used as roofing material. Another one is Muscovado sugar milling from sugarcane. Salt making is another tough yet rewarding home industry giving livelihood to the families living in the coastal barangays. However, this is very seasonal considering the effect of weather to products. Puto, bibingka, kutsinta, chips made from camote and banana, and other homemade pastries are among the sellable native food products produced by several families. They are in demand during parties such as birthday, wedding and other occasions.

Furniture making is also one of the booming industries in the municipality. Meanwhile, body-building shops that assemble tricycles used as public utility vehicles and in Barangays Sinaja and Concepcion is also a flourishing industry. These assembly shops have given employment to skilled and semi-skilled workers. Another promising industry develop from livestock is the dairy processing project of the Belison Multi-Purpose Cooperative. This dairy project is an on-going development enterprise which started in 2007, being the first of its kind in Antique is known to be the One Town One Product (OTOP) ticket of the town for the said program of the Department of Trade and Industry. By-products produce are bottled fresh dairy milk comes in different flavors, ice cream and milk bars. However, the municipality does not have a strong cottage industry whose production can be classified as a major industry. Most of those are home-based activities, thus, its trend in terms of commercial volume is limited. Secondly, the absence of a more defined support mechanism for investment climate attracting more investors is not present.

Total existing industrial capitalization reaches to P1,633,000.00 in 2017 with a total employment of 57. Based on the record from the Office of the Municipal Treasurer, the revenue from the industry sector is increasing every year. The current revenue from the secondary sector is P47,475,070.47.

In 2015 the number of employed persons increased from about 4,664 in 2010 to around 6,050 in 2008 (Please refer to Demography). This meant almost one thousand persons joined the municipality’s labor force over a period of five years. The agricultural sector continues to play an important role in employment and in jobs creation as it has employed about 10.6 million Filipinos in 2008. In addition, the fishing sector employed about 1,690 persons in 2015. Most Filipino workers therefore, are still in the agriculture and fishing sectors while the rest are in non-agricultural sectors such as industry and services.

The inventory of Industrial establishment by manufacturing/industrial process, raw material input and production markets is presented in the Table.

 The Tertiary Sector

The tertiary sector plays an important role in the economic sector of the municipality. Compared to other 5th class municipality, Belison can be considered as a fast changing and improving town. Great changes were brought by the vibrant and progress-oriented civic administrators and had made this tiny town into a model, growth-oriented community. Livelihood opportunities have now diversified to incorporate highly skilled and professional sources of revenues. The adequacy of the municipality to provide the need for consumer goods and commodities has driven people to engage trading activities within the municipality.

Wholesale and Retail Trade

Different types of commercial establishments are present in almost all the barangays of the municipality. Wholesale and retail trade is one of the blooming micro-small scale businesses within the municipality as is requires less capital and employee. For the last six years (2010), the area occupied by these commercial activities was only 5.875 hectares scattered within the different barangays. In 2016, the commercial areas increased to 9.741 hectares or 60.3%.   

A noticeable increase of micro small to medium size enterprises is seen for the last five years though they are loosely scattered in the different barangays. In the Poblacion alone, a lot of business establishments sprouted rapidly serving the common needs of the constituents. Just in the market area, there are stalls rented composed of five (5) grocery stores, three (3) bakeries, three (3) carinderia/restaurants, two (2) hardware and construction supply, four (4) poultry and animal feeds supply, three (3) rice trading, four (4) general merchandise/gift shop /plastic ware supply/school and office supply/RTW and dry goods store. At the core of the market place lie a lot of vegetables and fruits stands, fresh and dry fish section, meat section and also cooked food section.

Personal Services (e.g. beauty parlors, dress and tailoring shops, piano/photo studios, funeral parlors, etc.)

Based on the record taken from the Business Permit Licensing Office, personal services in the municipality are varied. There are two (2) beauty parlors located within the public market, dress and tailoring shops. There are also two (2) funeral parlors servicing the needs of the constituents. The table below present the inventory of Commercial Establishment by Economic Activities present in the municipality.