Products and Natural Resources

The Philippines is rich in natural resources that are as yet largely undeveloped. Its fertile plains and rich valleys produce diverse crops a few of which are produced for export and the rest for local consumption. Rice, the staple crop of the country, is produced largely in the Central Plains of Luzon, but the total production is not sufficient to meet the ever increasing demand of an exploding population. The still primitive way of agriculture is one of the causes of the failure of the Philippines to produce enough rice for export. However, a breakthrough in rice production was made during the first four years of President Ferdinand Marcos' administration when the so-called "miracle rice" was developed.

Other products, however, have been raised for export. Copra, abaca, gums, resins, rubber, and sugar have found ready markets abroad. Lumber, minerals, and metals have been exported in the quantities to swell Philippine exports to an average of about P800,000,000. Mining, which is a basic industry, produces more than 700 million pesos worth of minerals. Metallic minerals, such as copper, gold, silver, iron, lead, zinc, manganese, and chromium are exploited for their commercial value, while the non-metallic minerals like salt, coal, clay, asbestos, sulphur, gravel, limestone, and gypsum are so far not yet exploited for large-scale export. It is suspected that oil is present in some Philippine sites, but attempts to locate these sites are few successful.