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MUNICIPAL HALL of the Local Government Unit of Rosario, Province of Batangas, Philipines.
VIEW over Tombol Hill, Municipality of Rosario, Batangas, Philippines

Development Thrust and Spatial Strategies and Options

FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO MAKE INVESTMENTS in the Municipality of Rosario, Batangas, Philippines, this discussion of the options identified for the strategic development thrust and the preferred development thrust over the planning period 2016-2030 may offer some guidance.

DEVELOPMENT THRUSTS

In determining options for the development thrusts, cognizance was given to the following factors: 

1. External environment:
  • National framework for physical planning 
  • Regional physical framework plan 
  • Provincial spatial development strategy 
2. Internal environment:
  • Accessibility
  • Infrastructure capacity
  • Human resources
  • Institutional and financial capacity
  • Social infrastructure
  • Availability of services 

3. Functional role emerging from the regional and provincial plans

4. Comparative advantage/potentials:
  • Importance of local produce
  • Presence of internationally competitive industry
  • Tourism value of its natural resource
  • Geographic proximity to markets
  • Geologic stability and climate suitability
  • Socio-political stability of the local government
  • Uniqueness, spirit, and special character
  • Cultural heritage and traditions

5. Environment
  • Existing conditions
  • Unique landscapes
  • Potentials for sustainable utilization of natural resources
  • Climate change and disaster risks

6. Demographics/urban growth dynamics, and
  • Fast-growing/stagnating areas
  • Migration trends

7. Socio-economic conditions
  • Access to services
  • Employment needs

The Municipality of Rosario evaluated its options for the strategic development thrust and identified the following:

OPTION 1: Agricultural Development
 This option focuses on the agricultural sector as its main engine for growth. The LGU provides the required physical infrastructure and services such as irrigation facilities, farm to market roads, credit/lending facilities, technology, training/educational programs and other support systems. Protection of prime agricultural lands or areas covered by the Network of Protected Agricultural and Agri-Industrial Development Areas (NPAAADs) is prioritized. Export of locally produced agriculture products are encouraged after ensuring that the local food requirement/s of its population is addressed.

OPTION 2: Industrialization
In combination, the LGU ensures that the support services, facilities and utilities required such as power, water, roads, telecommunication and efficient solid waste disposal, are available, well-planned and provided for. The LGU puts mitigating measures to address the impacts of industrial operations while taking advantage of processing activities that will complement and further increase the output/s of the agriculture sector.

OPTION 3: Commercial Development
Since the municipality has been experiencing higher level of urban functions and services, also in relation to Option 1, it also considered adopting intensified commercialization/trading center or urbanization as a development thrust or option. With this thrust, the LGU intensifies the commercial base and strengthens its role within the province in terms of trade centers, financial and support service centers, and possibly business process/outsourcing center.
The LGU ensures the availability of facilities, utilities, measures and incentives to encourage investors to further diversify and increase investments. The required programs and mitigating measures are identified to address the impacts of intensified commercial activities such as increased volume of solid and liquid wastes, demand for more parking areas, management of traffic, workers’ housing, business/personal services, health facilities, warehouse/storage facilities, among others.

OPTION 4: Tourism Development
The LGU provides the required infrastructures to support, improve and strengthen the municipality’s tourism thrust. The LGU also provides measures to conserve its upland areas to ensure that tourism will not cause the degradation of the environment, harm or affect the social or local customs/traditions of the municipality. The LGU shall prepare a Tourism Roadmap to layout the detailed activities, programs and projects that support the thrust.

OPTION 5: Sustainable Forest Management
The LGU shall promote the strict implementation of its Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) anchored on Community-Based Forestry Management and other Options for its forest areas in accordance with recent government policies. The LGU focuses on encouraging the use of non-timber forest products such as fruits and fiber, instead of harvesting timber products.

The legal status of lands within the jurisdiction of the municipality are identified, established and mapped accordingly to appropriately allocate lands for development. The LGU adopts policies that will ensure the 1) sustainable utilization of forest resources; 2) control the expansion of settlements within forestlands; 3) observe the rights of Indigenous Communities, if any, which at this time the best available information does not point to any IPs in forestlands; and 4) settle conflicts between land suitability and legal land status; among others. Forestlands and resources cannot be classified for other purposes.

Preferred Development Thrust
Considering all the options generated based on analysis and study of best available information, and in accordance to consensus reached, the Municipality of Rosario shall pursue the following preferred development thrust within the planning period 2016-2030:
  • RANK 1: Commercial Development
  • RANK 2: Agri-Industrial Development
  • RANK 3. Sustainable Forest Management Development
  • RANK 4: Agri-Eco-Tourism Development
  • RANK 5: Agricultural Production

Municipal Vision Revisited
The vision of the municipality over the period 2016-2030 was revisited and now reflects these development thrusts:

CITY OF ROSARIO, the premiere center of Eastern Batangas for
  • commerce,
  • agri-industry,
  • sustainable forest management,
  • agri-eco-tourism, and
  • agricultural production
with God-loving and empowered community, dynamic and self-reliant economy, enjoying viable natural environment and livable human settlements with sufficient infrastructure governed by the principle of sustainable development with equity.

SPATIAL STRATEGIES

The municipality adopted the regional spatial strategy and divided the municipality into two development zones based on physical and socio-economic characteristics and interactions.

In terms of settlement development, DISPERSED CONCENTRATION with hierarchy of service centers was adopted with the clustering of barangays following the subwatershed divide called districts.

This development zone has for its center what is called the Urban Growth Point (UGP) and from here spreads outward forming the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). There are four UGPs identified in the municipality, corresponding to one UGP for each subwatershed basin or districts.

Urban Growth Point

Urban Growth Points Rosario Batangas
Urban Growth Point Locations: Municipality of Rosario, Batangas

Urban Growth
In terms of spatial development strategies, the municipality adopted for its settlement development a compendium of strategies.

Radial development strategy is adopted in the sense, that the Poblacion A, B, C, D and E barangays being urban barangays and Central Business District (CBD) of the municipality shall be further strengthened and expanded as major growth center of what we shall call URBAN ROSARIO DEVELOPMENT QUADRANT. The CBD provides specialized facilities and services to its nodes and acts as its external linkage to the other centers of the municipality.


Linear development strategy is the delineation of development of built-up uses along (1) major roads or transit corridors primarily the Batangas-Quezon Road and the Rosario-San Juan Road, (2) strategic provincial roads, and (3) farm-to-market roads.

Nodal Strategy with Hierarchy of Functional Nodes identified nodal growth points along the specified nodal axis targeted to serve the subwatershed clusters with identified functions.

  1. Redevelopment/renewal of existing settlement to accommodate a larger local population: URBAN ROSARIO QUADRANT URBAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
  2. Growth of other townships/poblaciones to accommodate a larger population in existing settlements: ALUPAY BUSINESS DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
  3. Urban expansion to accommodate a larger local population and to avoid urban sprawl: SAN ISIDRO COMMERCIAL CENTER DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
  4. New township/poblacion to accommodate a larger municipal population: CALANTAS COMMUNITY HUB DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

URBAN ROSARIO QUADRANT URBAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
This first approach involves some form of urban renewal for the Poblacion. It deals with the improvement of part of existing settlements in order to accommodate larger population. The Calumpang River Subwatershed Cluster will have this approach. The concept of Pedestrian Shed was adopted as the basic unit of neighborhood size. It is defined as the area that may be covered by comfortable walks at an easy pace from the center of a neighborhood. The distance from neighborhood center to the outer limits of the neighborhood is a five-minute walk or 400 meters radial distance.

Urban Rosario Quadrant Rosario Batangas
Urban Rosario Development Strategy: Calumpang River Subwatershed, Municipality of Rosario, Batangas

ALUPAY BUSINESS DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
The second approach builds up the capacity of existing settlement to grow and absorb population beyond its own growth requirements. It is assumed that the subwatershed cluster settlement has sufficient potential economic base. Hence, this approach involves improving accessibility to and from other market and production centers and providing appropriate infrastructure in aid of key production activities. This approach will fit the requirements of Malaquing Ilog Subwatershed Cluster.

Alupay Business District Rosario Batangas
Alupay Business District Development Strategy: Malaquing Ilog Subwatershed, Municipality of Rosario, Batangas

SAN ISIDRO COMMERCIAL CENTER DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
As in the second approach, this follows a predominant urban growth pattern but at the individual settlement level. It starts with the expansion of a settlement’s area of coverage brought about by the expansion in the local economy, an increase in the settlement population, and greater mobility on the part of the part of people, goods, and services. This approach will be applied to the Lawaye River Subwatershed Cluster.

San Isidro Commercial Center Rosario Batangas

CALANTAS COMMUNITY HUB DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
The fourth approach towards accommodating population growth is the development of new townships or poblaciones. It was already mentioned that township or poblacion used in this sense implies the settlements exhibiting characteristics similar to the Poblacion in terms of population density and economic activities. This approach is selected for the Rosario River Subwatershed Cluster. In terms of land area, a settlement with a radius of 400 meters from its growth point will have an area of at least 50 hectares, while a radius of 800 meters will translate to at least 200 hectares. The old Poblacion is about 108 hectares.

San isidro Commercial Center Rosario Batangas

Non-Urban Growth
In terms of land use, agricultural modernization, agri-business, light industry, tourism and agroforest protection for Eastern Batangas were also adopted in the municipality. This development zone is the non-urban growth or Resource-Based Development Zone (RBDZ), which would function as land-based production and protection areas. The RBDZ shall serve as the food basket and major raw material source of the municipality, province, and even the region.

Non-Urban Growth Rosario Batangas
Non-Urban Growth: Resource-Based Development Clusters (RBDC), Municipality of Rosario, Batangas

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