Discover Palawan’s OTOP products

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Without doubt, Palawan’s beauty and abundance of natural resources has attracted both domestic and international tourists. There is an average of 400,000 tourists who visit the province annually. Every island and town has its own culture and traditions which showcase the diversity and uniqueness of the province.

This diversity can also be seen in the many products found in Puerto Princesa City and the 23 towns. The handicrafts, agricultural crops, aquamarine products, and processed foods reflect the culture and traditions of the people.

The One Town, One Product (OTOP) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) highlights the ingenuity, craftsmanship and the importance of these products to the economic development of a locality.

The OTOP is a priority program of the government to promote entrepreneurship and to create jobs particularly in the countryside. Through the OTOP, local chief executives take the lead in identifying, developing, and promoting a specific product or service which has a competitive advantage.

Cashew or kasuy is the provincial OTOP, and also the municipal OTOP of the towns of Roxas, El Nido, Cuyo, and Dumaran. Palawan, the Cashew Capital of the Philippines, produces 90 percent of the total cashew production of the country. Roxas with its own cashew production village is the Cashew Capital of the province.

Coconut and palm are priority crops grown and developed in the southern part of Palawan, particularly in Quezon, Brooke’s Point, and Balabac – towns that adopted coconut as its OTOP. Two local firms process coconut into cooking oil supplying the local market. There are 15 firms that process virgin coconut oil (VCO) and activated charcoal used for detoxification.

The provincial government is open to investments and partnerships in palm oil plantation and processing. The Palawan Palm Oil Industry Development Council in cooperation with the Philippine Coconut Authority is spearheading the development of the palm oil, the biggest agro-development project in the province. The town of Sofronio Española is the center of palm oil development.

Seaweeds, those green and brown plants that thrive in marine inland waters, are the OTOP of the northeastern island towns of Agutaya and Cagayancillo. Palawan is the third largest producer of seaweeds in the country after Tawi-Tawi and Sulu. Unprocessed and dried seaweeds are sold to buyers from Cebu, Manila, Mindoro, and some traders in Puerto Princesa City.

With a long coastline, the province is noted for a variety of fishes and other marine creatures. Sixty-five percent of Metro Manila’s fish supply comes from the waters of Palawan. The towns of Linapacan, Taytay, and Araceli have identified marine products as its official municipal OTOP, and “lamayo”, a processed fish delicacy as the OTOP of Puerto Princesa City. A trip to Palawan is not complete without savoring the delicious “lamayo” and other seafoods either grilled or “kinilaw”.

Banana is the OTOP of Aborlan, a major banana-producing municipality in the province. It celebrates Banana Festival every 2nd week of June annually. Aborlan produces banana chips in different flavors: sweetened, garlic, cheese, barbeque, honey-glazed, and dehydrated.

Narra, the “Rice Granary of Palawan” is the center of rice milling and trading in the province. Needless to say, the local government declared rice and other rice-based products as its OTOP. Every October is Harvest month, honoring the more than 5,000 rice farmers of Narra. It offers a wide variety of rice, either polished or unpolished, fancy or plain.

The indigenous fibers of Palawan drawn from the buntal, coconut, buri, cogon grass, pandan, and pineapple are made into bags, baskets, table runners, wall decors, and other creative woven products. These are the OTOP of the towns of Bataraza and Sofronio Española. Noted enterprises in woven products are Binuatan Creations and Rurungan sa Tubod. Binuatan’s showroom in the city is part of the itinerary of tour groups and educational trips.

Rurungan sa Tubod is another firm committed to the preservation of traditional weaving and women empowerment. It successfully combines woven piña fiber and high fashion in creating distinctly elegant tepiña into barong, terno, saya, shawls, and wedding ensembles. Palawan’s tepiña has conquered the export market.

Other distinctive Palawan handicrafts are rainmakers, wind chimes, and the baskets hand-made by the indigenous people themselves.

Tourism is Coron’s OTOP. Fast becoming one of the premier destinations in the Philippines, Coron offers varied outdoor activities like wreck diving, snorkeling, swimming in the pristine waters, scaling limestone cliffs, and relaxing and therapeutic dip in the salty hot springs. Coron is also the jump-off point to the Calauit Game Refuge Park and Culion Island. In recent years, there have been international companies already developing world-class resorts in the municipality, specifically the Banyan Group of Companies.

There is something for everyone in every island in Palawan. Indeed, the One Town, One Product is not merely an entrepreneurial agenda, more than that; it is re-discovering the province’s heritage that comes alive through the innovative, environment-inspired, and delicious products that are proudly made in Palawan.

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