INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITIES AND UTILITIES
The status of the socio-economic well-being of the local residents is gauged more on the adequacy of the available infrastructures present and convenient to them. The absence of, or backlogs in the provision of essential infrastructures and services represent a degree of deprivation that must be reduced if not eliminated to prevent the local residents’ becoming worse off. The following discussions are the significant deficiencies:
Roads and bridges and Wharves.
San Lorenzo has more or less 176.78 kilometers of road servicing the people in transporting their products to the market and other sectors of the province of Guimaras. Out of the total kilometers of road, 36.949 km. is national road with almost 100% concrete; 14.290 is the provincial road 70% concrete and 30% gravel. The municipal road is within the municipal site and is maintained by the municipal government has 3.197 km. concrete and 0.533 km. gravel with the total of 3.73 km. The 121.81 km. is classified as barangay road with only13.41km. concrete. All barangay roads are interconnected to the national highway and to the seat of the municipal government except barangay Tamborong.
The road conditions in Barangays are generally poor which requires regular maintenance and repair. Most are slippery and impassable during heavy rains and wet condition. Inadequate farm to market roads hinder marketing of products and economic growth. Due to these, few numbers of transport vehicles operate in the areas because of high cost of maintenance and accident prone condition of the roads.
Additional roads were provided during the construction of Wind Turbine specifically used for their access during construction and maintenance during operation. These roads are open for use by the public which are all connected to the National or Provincial roads.
Due to these, few numbers of transport vehicles operate in the areas because of high cost of maintenance and accident prone condition of the roads.
In terms of external accessibility, the national road is link to all municipalities of the province of Guimaras with almost 100% paved. There is a need to improve the roads leading to many tourism sites.
Existing national roads in the poblacion barangays of Sebario, Igcawayan, Cabano and Suclaran are constricted by on-street parking and absence of pedestrian sidewalks due to illegal encroachment of sari-sari stores, carinderias , etc. and residential buildings.
At present, the concrete bridges are located in Cabano which is 40 linear meter long, sitio Langab in Lebas which 30 linear meters, sitio Tangaw in Constancia , 20 linear meters in Tumanda, Cabano and 40 linear meters in Sebario. The 20 linear meters is made of steel in Sitio Balayong, Constancia and a total of 25 linear meters bailey bridges at sitio Nagay, Sebario and Igcawayan. These bridges served as an inter-town link with the rest of the barangays but need improvement for this also contributes to the slow growth of transportation.
Accessibility by sea is accommodated by wharves at barangay Cabano through pump boats having regular trips to and from Negros every day.
The road connecting from San Miguel, Jordan to the municipality and the rest of the coastal barangays is almost 100% concrete and same as the road from Buenavista to the municipality passing through the coastal road which is 100% concrete with a little road damaged on portion of Suclaran while the road from Piña, Buenavista connecting to Suclaran area is only 75% concrete and all the rests are fully maintained.
There are permanent transportations plying within the municipality but has no specific schedule and the dispatched depends on the availability of passengers full enough to leave. Passenger has to wait for so long a time for the availability of a jeepney or L-300 vans in instances of dead hour. However the fastest way in going to the municipality is via a motorcycle or motorized tricycle.
Motorcycles are mostly operating within the municipality, while jeepneys and L-300 vans ply the route of Jordan and Buenavista wharf. There are 28 jeepneys, 143 motorcycles, 53 motorized tricycles, 12 trucks, 28 private car, 22 L-300 vans and 7 pump boat servicing the transport needs of the people.
Since the geographic location of the municipality and its distance to economic centers like in San Miguel, Jordan, Iloilo City and Pulupandan and some local government units in Negros Occidental makes it more accessible to any economic activity for investors and businessmen. The presence of the municipal wharf with pump boat servicing from San Lorenzo to Pulupandan makes it easier and faster in investing the municipality that will boost the economic activity at the same time.
DOMESTIC WATER SUPPLY
The 5,214 households in San Lorenzo are being served by 1808 water sources which covers the 12 barangays with an average of about 4 households per water source. These water sources are open dug well which is the major common source, deep well and spring which serves for Level I in Igcawayan. Other sources with enough water density served for Level I in Cabano, Aguilar, Constancia, Gaban and Suclaran. There is Levels I and II in Sebario being the Open Dug well as the source.
The municipality has no Water district at present, but in support to water The Municipal Health Office intensifies its campaign on health and sanitation to the barangay every month to provide basic health services including those related to sanitation. Almost all households in the barangay have dug wells as their source of potable water. In order that the source will be safe for drinking, the municipal health providers include in their campaign the monthly water sampling test and have these chlorinated.
The power on Guimaras island and all its five municipalities is supplied by the National Power Corporation through a local electric cooperative, namely, the Guimaras Electric Cooperative (GUIMELCO). As of 2018 all 12 barangays of San Lorenzo had been energized, serving 5,628 households or 93.9% of the total number of households in the municipality.
The municipality actually hosts the San Lorenzo Wind Farm (Fig. 7), a facility that generates clean, renewable energy from wind power. The first of its kind in the Visayas, the San Lorenzo wind farm has 27 giant (123 ft tall) wind turbine generators (WTG), each capable of generating 2 megawatts of power or a total of 54 MW of electricity. The wind turbines are scattered in four barangays in the Municipality of San Lorenzo, namely Suclaran, Cabungahan, M. Chavez and Cabano.
The wind farm is operated by the Trans Asia Renewable Energy Corporation (TAREC), a subsidiary of Trans Asia Oil and Energy Development Corporation, the energy arm of the Phinma Group of Companies and is supported by the Philippine Department of Energy. The wind power project was started in 2007, with a total estimated cost of PhP6.7 billion. As part of the project, TAREC constructed or improved 15km of roads, a 60MVA substation, a 27km overhead transmission line and a 3km submarine cable which connects the island of Guimaras to the Panay-Negros grid, supplying the province with a steady flow of electricity.
Ironically, the electricity generated from these structures is not utilized on Guimaras island. All electricity produced is transmitted through the 69KV overhead transmission line to Zaldivar, Buenavista, Guimaras, which then is fed to the 2.8 kilometer submarine cable going to the Cable Terminal Station in Ingore, Lapaz, Iloilo City and finally delivered to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) sub-station in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo. Thus, the San Lorenzo Wind Farm generates 54 megawatts of power that NGCP distributes to many power utilities in Western Visayas, Negros, and Cebu.
The wind farm project is seen to reduce the region’s greenhouse gas emissions and serve as a major tourism attraction that boosts the economic activities of the island. Tourists can view the wind turbines at Lookout Point Number Seventeen, an integrated tourism center that TAREC plans to contract by 2nd quarter of 2016. On that area stands one turbine, WTG No. 17. From theviewing deck, you can see all the rest of the 26 wind turbines comprising the entire San Lorenzo Wind Farm.
THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR
Of the total land area of San Lorenzo of 10,617.2495 hectares, 4,337.47 ha is used for agriculture, producing food commodities such as rice, corn, root crops, vegetables, mango, coconut and other fruit crops. The municipality also grows corn, vegetables, mango, mongo, coconuts and fruit bearing trees. The municipality contributes a substantial share of mango production, the province’s flagship and world-famous agricultural product. Livestock production is another popular agricultural activity of San Lorenzo farmers.
Farmers in upland areas grow high value crops like root crops, corn, vegetables, mango, coconut and other fruit trees. Based on the gathered data of the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist for year 2016, the land area planted with corn is about 30.0 ha which produce a total of 26.4 and 16.2 metric tons of yellow and white corn, respectively. The estimated area devoted to vegetable and root crops is about 124.659 ha.
Chicken and cattle production is a common farming activity in the municipality of San Lorenzo. A total of 26,140 heads of chicken, 1,925 carabaos, and 3,851 cattle were recorded in 2016. Other sources of meat in the locality include swine and goats with recorded number of heads in 2016 which are 2,034 and 1996 for swine goats respectively.
The municipality is considered as the rice granary of the Province of Guimaras, producing more than an average of 3.8 – 4.2 metric tons of rice annually in lowland areas. In the record of the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMA), the municipality produced 3.9 metric tons rice for year 2016. All twelve (12) barangays of the municipality of San Lorenzo are agricultural with an estimated area of 3,415.68 hectares devoted to rice. The irrigated area of San Lorenzo is about 947.78 hectares serviced by an irrigation system managed by the Cabano Barangay Irrigators Development Association (CBIDA) which includes a small farm reservoir, springs, and water pumps. Most of the rice production areas comprising 2,467.90 ha of upland and lowland areas are rain-fed. According to the MAO a total of 3,637 worked in the rice fields.
FISHERIES AND COASTAL RESOURCES
San Lorenzo is referred to as an Agriculture and Fishery-producing municipality of the province, the gateway to-and-from the province of Negros and a tourism destination. Through the strict enforcement of fishery laws and ordinances, marine resources are preserved and conserved supplying fishery products to the island.
The six coastal barangays of the municipality (i.e. Barangay Cabano, Igcawayan, M. Chavez, Suclaran, San Enrique and Sebario) have an aggregate area of 7,116.68 hectares. The municipal waters (up to 15 km) fronting these barangays serve as the main fishing ground for small fishers of San Lorenzo.
A total of 247 hectares of fishpond are found along the coastal zone of San Lorenzo, which is the aggregate of titled properties and those acquired through Fishpond Lease Agreement (FLA) with BFAR. Only about 150 hectares are used for aquaculture, the rest (about 97 ha) are either used for salt production during summer season, or abandoned or unproductive and where young mangrove vegetation has already grown. Most of the fishpond areas are located in Bgry. Suclaran, M.Chavez, Cabano, Igcawayan and Sebario.
There are 1,650 registered fisherfolks in San Lorenzo, 237 (14.36%) are directly dependent on fishing as their main source of livelihood while the others are engaged part-time in fishing, in trade or postharvest activities or aquaculture. About 59% (977) of these fisherfolk are male while 39% (673) are female. Most of these fisherfolk are within the age bracket identified is 40-49 years old, and most of them belong to one of eight fisherfolk associations recognized by the municipal government.