General Santos City is not a Huge City if you compare the area with Davao but when you think of the contribution it gives to the Philippine Economy this changes it into a Giant!
Situated on the shore of Sarangani Bay, GenSan, South Cotabato and Sarangani Province really contribute plenty to the economy!
Being situated off of the Typhoon belt, the weather allows for all kinds of agriculture and other industries to carry on without the disruption of floods, extreme weather etc which is a major problem for all industries further north in the country!
Little is usually said about Gen San except when a certain Philippino Boxer is mentioned or some bad things that happen within the surrounding 500 km or so hit the News Media but the reality is that Gen San is a very quiet place with very little trouble, yes, we have had a few terrorist problems here in the past as have the rest of the country but not for a long time now! Unfortunately most Foreign Embassies still say do not go to the Gen San Area for security reasons!
What contributions does Gen San and the surrounding area actually give to the Philippine Economy you may ask?
1) DOLE Philippines have a huge plantation for pineapples on the slopes of our local volcano, Mt Matutum and from there the Canned Pineapple and Juices are shipped all over the world! Dole also have other export products like Asparagus, Bananas, Papaya and Nata de Coco! Several thousand people are employed in this industry!
2) PORK.Approximately, up to one million pigs both dead or alive are shipped to Manila every year from the area, one new factory MMPC is a European Style Facility which can slaughter and process over 1,000 pigs per day in extremely hygienic and humane conditions! The local Lechon or Roast Pig is a standard party meal as the price here is still very affordable!
CATTLE. The area has been for a long time now a main Cattle Breeding and Fattening Area with over 100,000 live cows shipped to Manila every year! The main Breeding Stock came originally from Australia but now the cattle are bred in the Philippines!
3) FISH. Market 1 of the Gen San Fish Port is the main landing area for Tuna in the country and much of the highest quality fish is exported directly by air to overseas countries! Unfortunately it can be very difficult for visitors to enter the complex as a strict dress code is enforced! All other types of fish are sold in the other markets within the complex! All the large Tuna are caught on hand lines so even Green Peace are not in conflict with this industry here!
Also in Gen San there are several major Fish Canneries who’s export products are shipped word wide! Many thousands of people, mostly women are employed here painstakingly dissecting and removing the inedible bits from the fish meat prior to cooking and canning!
There are several other fish related industries which both export and produce for the local market producing high quality Bangus or Milk Fish which are basically a Herring type of fish so if you British miss your Breakfast Kipper in the morning just try a Smoked Boneless Bangus, I am sure that you will be surprised and will enjoy the taste!
PRAWN or SHRIMP
Farms are all along the coastal waters of Sarangani Bay along with the production of Cobia or Sargent Fish, an expensive specialty fish for the Asian Market! Unfortunatelyin order to make space for the production ponds, large areas of Mangrove Trees were cut down! The bodily waste from fish kept in floating fish cages creates a high nutrient content in the ocean which in turn causes algea growth that covers and smothers the corals!
TILAPIA is produced in vast quantities mostly for the local market with Lake Sebu being a main area! On the small resorts on the shore of the lake you can get the freshest fish anywhere as they catch it from the lake and present it to you still alive, if its acceptable to you its prepared and cooked on the spot!
HITO or CAT FISH production is another large industry but this is not for export!
CHICKENS are produced and processed by the million and shipped all over the country, the price is still very reasonable and a Roast Chicken will only set you back a little over 100 peso’s!
SEASONAL FRUITS and VEGETABLESare also shipped all over the country and some are exported but this is not a major industry as it happens in most areas where good quality fruits and vegetables are produced!
RICE and CORN is still produced in vast quantities but this production is in decline as many of the farmers children dream of the good life in the big city and leave the farms! Much of the Corn or Maize which is produced is used for the cattle feeds!
Unfortunately, because of the hidden mineral riches still uncovered and undeveloped in the area, several mining companies are planning to develop Open Pit Mining for Copper and Coal which will again add to the Philippine Economy but also will probably leave terrible open scars and pollution on the beautiful landscape here! Also, there are plans even in this day and age of Green Technology to construct a Coal Fired Power Station in order to power these developments! There is no such thing as clean coal!
COPRA, the dried meat of the coconut is purchased by a large processing facility before being shipped out to other countries to be converted into cosmetics and other related products!
I think that this short article will give the reader an idea that the Big Little City of Gen San is quite an asset to the economy and if the Do Not Go To0 designation was to be lifted by the Embassies then there could be no end to the possibilities of expansion that the city could achieve especially with the aid of foriegn investment! At this time, foriegn investment stays mainly in the more northern areas because of the warnings from the Embassies!
As you may or may not realise from this article, I am a General by heart and this is my home and I can see no reason for me to even think about living any where else! My Paradise!