Romblon is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region in Luzon. Its capital is the municipality also named Romblon. The province of Romblon has unique advantage of being at the center of trade routes that link Luzon and the Visayas. This strategic location makes the province an ideal location for sea freight distribution and as a manufacturing center from which to access the markets of Western Visayas and Southern Tagalog.
Romblon is endowed with lush vegetation and mineral resources. Aside from marble, the islands are rich in granite, nickel, silica, mercury, zinc, copper, silver, limestone, sulfide, ores, kaolin, clay, magnesium and quartz.
Gold panning sites have sprouted in some of the mountain stream areas in Magdiwang, Sibuyan Island. The fertile soil nurtures varied agricultural crops–like coconut, rice, corn, bananas, root crops, fruit trees, vines and many others. Offshore, Romblon is a rich fishing ground. The islands lie on the migratory path of fishes from the Sulu and Visayan Seas, passing the Tablas Strait, Sibuyan Sea and Romblon Pass.
Romblon is the country’s leading producer of high-quality marble, comparable to that of Italy.
Romblon boasts of scenic places that are a must-see for tourists. Mt. Guiting-Guiting is Romblon’s highest peak and is located at Sibuyan Island, Romblon. It is an attraction to mountaineers and is the province’s major source of timber and metallic products. It is also abundant with wildlife, plant species, and waterfalls.
The Cantingas River is known for its enchanting vistas. In its mountain are found the world’s smallest bat, the endangered wild cat or the singalong, and the hardest wood, the mancogo or iron wood. The river is known to have the second cleanest inland water in the region.
One of the last remaining untouched falls in the Philippines is the Busay Falls. It is a scenic spot with natural pool is around 2.5 kilometers from Poblacion and located at Barangay Panangcalan. The upper portion is the water reservoir serving the Poblacion.
The Isla de Gallo is where the coral reefs can be found. It is blessed with its white sands and is also well known for good diving. The Lagting Falls River is a hideaway scenic spot with a basin like natural pool is 3 kilometer away from Poblacion and located in Barangay Taclobo. This falls is a refreshing place to immerse during this hot summer. It has two natural swimming pools with clean water and has several cottages available around the area. It also a part of the Camp Christ in the mountains where seminars and retreats are conducted.
Take a break from outside pressure and feel the crash of the crystal cool water from the waterfalls in Little Baguio. It is surrounded by boulders and trees which provides shades to visitors.
Natural crystal-clear pool is ideal for a dip at Lambingan Falls. It is a romantic hideaway marked by huge boulders that deflect the cascade from the heights, the park is complimented by other tourist potentials that is constantly developed for town beautification because of its lush greenery. The falls has a natural pool with cool surroundings, ideal for swimming and picnics.
Centuries-old coffins made of hollowed logs were discovered in the Guyangan caves, which was discovered in 1936 and not after the war. Another cave, Lis-Ong Cave, has plenty of stalactites and stalagmites.
The Grotto is located at the peak of Mount Andradoon is where the Immaculate Conception where devotees usually go and pray during the Lenten season. When passing along the road can visit the Panorama point, at Barangaay Tacasan, Corcuera, where inter-island vessels can be viewed and serves as shelter during inclement weather
The Cotta Tower is where the remains of a Spanish Fort constructed between 1860-1865 by San Agustin de Pedro to ward off Muslim pirates. It is situated on hill overlooking the town.
Manaha Beach and Batom Beach are both a wide stretch of white beaches while the Saba Bay Lagoon is a 28 hectare body of water that lies ensconced between Barangay San Roque and Mabini providing magnificent view of the serene waters.
Investment opportunities in Romblon includes agri-business, fish culture and processing, marble mining and processing, cut flower industry, cottage industries, garments, tourism related facilities, banking and other non-pollutive industry.
Recently, in order to defend and conserve its environment and natural resources, the Provincial Council of Romblon passed an ordinance, Environment and Natural Resources Code.
The code will also cover the destructive industries such as mining and logging.
“Finally, the Environment Code is passed. We are firm with our decision that Romblon is a special province, with beautiful resources that we should not forgo because of its promised development. As caretakers of our province, we agree that to protect the environment and natural resources is one of our important roles,” Romblon Governor, Gov. Eduardo Firmalo said.
Alyansa Tigil Mina lauded the ordinance’s principal author and Romblon’s provincial board member, Felix Ylagan. Ylagan mentioned the ordinance’s stance on mining saying that “The people have spoken very clearly, let there be liberality, it has been said time and again to ‘apply the law not by the letters that killeth but by the spirit that giveth life’; the legislation has far reaching benefits which will protect us now and those of our children’s children.”
Mining is dangerous to the people in Romblon because it affects their lives and the source of their foods and water, it is also not allowed in tourism and agricultural areas; in areas identified by Presidential Executive Order No. 79, series of 2012; and in Section 19 of Republic Act 7942 as provided shall be applicable within the purview of Section 64 of this Code, “Mining shall not be allowed within one kilometer radius from a declared watershed or watershed areas as identified by the municipality concerned”.
The Sibuyan Islands Sentinels League for Environment (Sibuyan ISLE) reacted to the recent passage of the ordinance. They said the legislations challenges local government units to integrate climate change action and disaster risk reduction management plans in their development programs. “The path to sustainable development has been laid down and the decision-makers must implement programs which will not worsen the effects of the climate crisis—conservation, protection and rehabilitation of the environment are top priorities as well,” statement sent to Mindanao Examiner by Sibuyan ISLE director Rodne Galicha.
Alyansa Tigil Mina welcomed this development and encouraged more local governments to legislate regulations to mining despite reported intimidation by some national government agencies to give favor to mining operations. National coordinator of ATM Jaybee Garganera congratulates the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Romblon, and the people for the strong political will and she said that they are pleased to find out that the provincial policy has been passed already, mainly because they believe that the local policy makers should take a stand and ensure that their environment is safe from critical industries.
The Romblon Environment Code is passed three years after the South Cotabato Environment Code was passed. This is one of the reasons why the Department of Environment and Natural Resources cannot issue SMI-Xstrata’s Environmental Compliance Certificate for the Tampakan mining project.
Sibuyanons Against Mining, Sibuyan Isle, Alliance of Students Against Mining and REFAM together with other lay leaders awaited the adoption of the said Environmental Code.