One of the tasks that we were assigned to in PRRM was to make socio-economic profiles of the provinces that were part of PRRM’s sphere of influence. I am making a blog post about this because the things under Aklan’s profile promises a good future for the province considering that it is home to Boracay’s flourishing tourist business. Yet one third of Aklan’s population is mired into poverty despite these industrial boons in the province.
Aklan has a land area of 1,817.9 km² and its capital is Kalibo. Aklan has a high geographic diversity ranging from white sandy beaches, mangroves, and mountainous landscapes. Aklan is home to Boracay Island, one of the world’s best beaches famous for its sugar fine white sand, azure waters, magnificent coral reefs, and rare sea shells. It is also home to the Akean river which has a unique feature of having a boiling or frothing appearance.
In terms of demographics, Aklan’s population is 535, 725 as of May 2010, according to the National Statistics Office. The cultural groupings include the Aklanon (Visayan), Negrito (locally known as the Ati), Sulod (tribal group located at the hinterlands of Panay), Karay-a, the Hiligaynon, and the Capiznon.
In terms of economics and livelihood, the main livelihood sources are – farming in the inland, fishing at the coasts, vibrant tourism industry especially in Boracay. Aklan depends greatly on it’s agricultural industry. Palay is the number one grown crop in the province. Other permanent major crops of the province are coconut, banana (Lakatan), mango, rambutan, lanzones, piña fiber, and abaca. Aklan is sufficient in meat and other livestock and poultry products. Pot making is a big industry in one of the municipalities of the province, Lezo, where they make pots made out of red clay.
Right now, Aklan is facing a number of critical issues. The first is the problem of rehabilitation after Typhoon Yolanda since 163,598 individuals were affected in all 17 towns (Zabal, 2013). Despite its vibrant tourism industry and substantial agriculture, the province is still considered as one of the poorer provinces in the country with more than 30% of the population living below the national poverty line.
– Olivia Solomon, 2012-16839