Relying on its competitive advantages, the region will seek to boost its position as the leading industrial core and trade center in southern Philippines.

It shall present itself as the most competitive, efficient and attractive transshipment hub and venue for industrial ventures.

As the regional economy undergoes transformation, more value-adding activities such as processing and manufacturing shall be intensified to fully harness and sustain its rich agriculture and resource-based endowments and potentials.

Such were stipulated on the newly approved Medium-Term Regional Development Plan (MTRDP) for Northern Mindanao for the years 2011-2016.

To achieve such, the National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office X (NEDA-X) uses the spatial development directions or the so called polycentric development strategy which often refers to the development of functional relationships in a regional cluster of cities and issues such as competitiveness.

The 2011-2016 MTRDP identifies four spatial development clusters (SDCs) which will serve as the key in hitting its five-year target.

SDC-1 is set on realizing the Cagayan-Iligan Industrial and trade Corridor, while SDC-2 will capitalize on agri-fishery and eco-cultural tourism endowments of Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental, the third will seek to boost the business and eco-tourism ventures in Bukidnon, and the last cluster is on for harnessing the Gingoog-Camiguin tourism adventure loop.

With the new plan, the region targets to reduce poverty incidence per population to twenty eight point seven percent (28.7%) of which actual records soared to forty three percent (43%) in 2006, while the 2009 projected levels pegs at thirty eight to forty percent (38%-40%).

For full-employment, the new macroeconomic target is set on ninety six percent (96%) by 2016 while underemployment is also aimed to be reduced by to twenty percent (20%) on the same year. (Jorie C. Valcorza/PIA 10)

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