ABOUT DEPED MIMAROPA
Profile of the Region
MIMAROPA refers to the cluster of emerald islands and islets stretching across the warm tropical seas south of Southern Luzon. MIMAROPA is made up of the divisions of Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon, Calapan City and Puerto Princesa City. It is also composed of seventy-two (72) municipalities and one thousand four hundred fifty-five (1,455) barangays. Its northernmost tip is bounded by Batangas and Quezon provinces while the southernmost portion by Panay Island and west by South China Sea. It has a total land area of 2.74M hectares representing 9% of the country's land area.
There are two things that best describe this region, a "food basket" of Southern Luzon and an "eco-tourism hub" of the country. If there is anything MIMAROPA can offer the Philippines and the world is its culture - the oldest of its traditions, the most colorful of its festivals, the richest and most scenic of its natural attractions, and the warmest welcome from its people.
The region is endowed with pristine beaches and wondrous natural resources. To name a few, there is Puerto Galera, the pearl of Oriental Mindoro, which is internationally renowned for its white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, as well as for its spectacular diving sites, Palawan being the home of the world-famous and awesome Saint Paul Underground River, and the Apo Reef Marine National Park of Occidental Mindoro, the second largest reef in the world, populated by some 385 species of colorful marine life.
1. The People
The 2000 Census on Population and Housing indicated MIMAROPA's total population as two million, two hundred twenty-nine thousand one hundred twenty-nine (2,229,129), the 3rd least populated region in the country, with a population growth rate of 2.67 percent annually. The people are typically Tagalogs except Romblon which has a mixed dialect of Visayan language due to its proximity to Panay Island. It is also the home of thirty-three (33) cultural tribes, thus only in this region one can find the Mangyans, the peace-loving aboriginal natives of Mindoro. Intrepid tourists can trek up the mountains to visit a Mangyan tribal settlement.
Different religious denominations are present in the region. Majority are Roman Catholic, followed by Seventh Day Adventist, Methodist, Born Again, Jehovah's Witnesses, Iglesia ni Cristo and others.
The Lenten Season is observed with solemnity and grandeur. In Marinduque, its people have a distinctive way of manifesting their faith that annually tops the various lists of Holy Week traditions in the Philippines, putting the province on the world's tourism map.
The Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) were last conducted in 2003. During that time, MIMAROPA had a basic literacy of 91.20 percent and a functional literacy of 82.30 percent.
2. Economic Situation
The different islands are dispersed and can be reached by air connections and by sea transportation. Islands interconnectivity is what MIMAROPA is doing right now. Through the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH), connecting Luzon to Mindanao, one island is linked to the other wherein most of the trading and redistribution of cargoes to other parts of the country take place. Occidental and Oriental Mindoro have now alternative markets - Visayas and Mindanao - for their products to be sold at better prices and have been developing their road networks connecting the highway to tourism attractions in areas like Calatagan and Lubang.
The port of Roxas in Oriental Mindoro is currently being expanded while the terminal building in Odiongan, Romblon has been completed. There are already two vessels plying the route of Batangas-Calapan and three vessels for Roxas-Caticlan route. At the moment, only Philtranco Bus Company has a Memorandum of Agreement with the vessels. There is a need for a good coordination between the vessel and bus operators for a synchronized schedule of the trips along the SRNH.
In June 2006, the President defined four super regions to build strong alliance among the Local Government Units (LGUs) and to have better national-local government cooperation in the development process.
These super regions are Northern Luzon which include Regions 1,2 and CAR; Metro Luzon Urban Beltway composed of Regions 3, CALABARZON, NCR and the provinces of Marinduque and Mindoro (Region IV-B); Central Philippines Tourism Center composed of Regions 5, 6, 7, 8, and the island provinces of Palawan and Romblon (Region IV-B); and Mindanao composed of Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and ARMM.
With the new composition, Region IV-B was distributed in the Metro Luzon Urban Beltway and Central Philippines Tourism Center. As such, the provinces of the MIMAROPA region are challenged to be more dynamic their participation to the newly delineated super regions.
As presented to the President in June 20, 2006, the Urban Beltway - the island provinces of Marinduque and Mindoro will assume the role of being a food basket of CALABARZON and Metro Manila. On the other hand, with their distinct tourism endowments, Palawan and Romblon were clustered to the Central Area, the super region endowed with world-class tourism destinations. The Carabao Island of San Jose Romblon is seen to be the next Boracay and Palawan to maintain its position as one of the top tourism destination of the country. Nevertheless, Palawan and Romblon are not limited to their role as eco-tourism hub given their potentials on fishery, energy and mining.
History of DepED Region IV-MIMAROPA
Rising gracefully from the heart of Ortigas Center, the country's business area next to Makati, is DepED MIMAROPA Regional Office, the grand venue of the newly created region of the country, which runs parallel to DepED Central Office.
Its site is the former DepED junkyard housing the male guards. Through the creative mind of Architect Nestor David (brother of U.P. Professor Randy David) who gave his pro bono services, the said site metamorphosed into a beautiful office building with the present address at Meralco Avenue corner Saint Paul Road in Pasig City.
Region IV-MIMAROPA was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 103 entitled, "Dividing Region IV into Region IV-A and IV-B, transferring the province of Aurora to Region III and for other purposes." This was signed by Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on May 17, 2002 marking a significant forward stride in the country's social development as the Philippines entered a new century. The separation was only finalized on February 17, 2003 when the two Regional Directors took their Oath of Office to lead their respective assigned areas of jurisdiction; Dr. Paraluman R. Giron, Director IV, DepED Region IV-MIMAROPA and Dr. George R. Garma, Director IV, DepED Region IV-CALABARZON. Section 3 of the EO states that Region IV-B shall be known as MIMAROPA and shall be composed of the following provinces and cities: Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon, Calapan City and Puerto Princesa City.
The region, originally held office in DepED Region IV Compound, located in Rizal Provincial Capitol Compound, Pasig City, side by side with Region IV-CALABARZON. Upon completion of the renovation of the DepED junkyard along Meralco Avenue, the region transferred to its new office on October 2003 and held a grand inauguration on October 22, 2003.