Makato, Aklan is a culturally rich town situated 9 Kilometers northwest of the provinces’ capital town, Kalibo. Vast natural resources abound in 9, 634.0 hectares of land and the abundance of natural marine resources in its coastal barangays are among its didtinctive features.
It is bounded by the adjacent municipalities of Numancia (East); Tangalan (West); Lezo – Malinao (South) and by the bountiful Sibuyan Sea in the North.
Based on the results of the latest population survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO) in the year 2007, there are 25,043 Makaton-ons inhabiting in the 83 Sitios of the 18 barangays of the municipality. An increase of 0.53% in the Population Growth Rate (PGR) from .79% in 2000 to 1.32% in 2007 has been noted.
Relative to this, changes in other population variables such as the Crude Death Rate (CDR), Crude Birth Rate (CBR) and the flow of migration will likely prevail.
As a 4th class municipality, economic development is practically a long yet progressively rewarding process for the town of Makato. Like most towns falling under the same economic category, the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share of the government is undeniably important in the local governments’ goal of uplifting the way of life of its people although efforts for local taxation and other resource generation measures are always maximized to help achieve this noble objective.
Moreover, it is the ultimate vision of the local government to complete the metamorphosis of this simple town into a strong and stalwart society through an approach where the main strategic thrust towards development is done for and in partnership with its people.
HEALTH, NUTRITION AND EDUCATION
All through the years, the strong sense of determination for the people of Makato to persevere in its vision to attain socio-political and economic development has never faltered, and because of this, it is but fair to say that truly indeed, the “Prime Asset” of this simple town is its “People”. Banking on this fact, the local government unit acknowledges the need to enhance the delivery of related social services that will provide for maximum development of its population potentials through the provision of good education facilities in all its barangays resulting to the attainment of a high literacy rate of 92% among its people. The accessibility of sufficient and well equip pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary education centers in the area is a major contributing factor to this achievement.
As evidenced by the various recognitions on the credibility of the existing municipal health facilities and the efficiency of the service providers involved in its health programs, Makaton-ons now avail of the benefits of these services to help them achieve optimum health status that will further enhance their productivity for a better quality of life.
However, in anticipation of growing health needs of the community as brought about by the inevitable increase in population, the Makato Rural Health Complex was constructed to expand program reach and serve not only the local people but also the residents of other adjacent municipalities as well.
As part of its continuing health program, concerns and issues pertaining to the peoples’ nutritional status are addressed in partnership with other supporting agencies from the national, provincial, and even the barangay level. Constant monitoring of the prevailing health status particularly that of children who are most vulnerable to malnutrition is conducted and identified cases are dealt with via a nutritional supplementation program.
TRADE, INDUSTRY AND TOURISM
With a large portion of its land resources devoted for the cultivation of crops like rice, coconut and other root crops, Makato is basically considered as an agricultural community. Likewise, aquaculture is also among the booming industries in the area since most people living in the coastal barangay of the municipality are largely engaged in businesses of this nature, and because of this, Makato have slowly become one of the largest producers of prawns, crabs, shrimps, fish and other marine products widely demanded in other areas of the country.
Moreover, recent opportunities paving the way for high market utilization of locally produced fibers like abaca, raffia, and piña has opened up another alternative output for resource generation.
In support of the global campaign for environmental protection, efforts to help preserve nature with special emphasis on wildlife and other forest resources of the municipality has been taken. Relative to this, the cutting of trees for timber production is strictly regulated and vigilance for illegal logging activities is strongly advocated. A more detailed plan for this purpose is stipulated in the municipal plan in support of the Clean and Green program of the government.
As a part of the package designed or the development and promotion of its tourism potentials, Makaton-ons celebrate the famous Ati-atihan Festival every 2nd week of January as a tribute to Sr. Sto. Niño, the Holy Child. During this annual event, the richness of the peoples’ culture, heritage and religion are reflected in the activities of the week long festivity.
Other local tourism destinations frequented by visitors are the crystal clear water of the beaches in Baybay which are perfect for those who prefer to relax while sulking under the sun; and the icy cool freshwaters found in the pristine Salimono and Eng-eng waterfalls for people who love to savor the serenity of nature with their families and friends.
INFRASTUCTURE AND UTILITIES
The establishment of road networks, bridges and other public infrastructures affecting the flow of trade, commerce and the general welfare of the people are among the topmost essential components in the economic development of a community.
For sometime now, accessibility of the barangay folks to Poblacion and other places of destinations have been made easier through well maintained barangay, provincial and national roads in the area, thus, high commercial value of locally produced materials and crops are sustained due to the prompt transport of these goods to trading centers in Poblacion and other commercial places.
The bridges connecting strategic places in the area are likewise maintained structuraly safe and passable, while proposals and assessments on the need for additional infrastructural developments are continually implemented.
Communications facilities are at par with other urban areas with one (1) landline and (3) cellular telecommunication companies actively serving, while those who want to correspond to people in area with no facilities of such nature enjoy Telegraphic services from the Office of Public Telecommunication Agency. For written correspondence, a satellite office of the Philippine Postal Services can be found at the vicinity of the public plaza.
The Numancia Water System provides continuous supply of portable water to residents of Poblacion and other adjacent barangays while water sources for those households relatively located in far-flung areas like Barangay Libang and Castillo come from their own spring water systems. Jetmatic pumps are also distributed by the Local Government Unit and other supportive donors to sporadic areas in other barangays to ensure that the prevalence of water-borne diseases is minimized if not eradicated.
Public transportation system within and outside the municipality are well provided by Multicabs, jeepneys, tricycles and motorcycles.
To ensure that public welfare is upheld, programs and projects are developed based on the evaluation of the actual needs in the community as reflected on pertinent data of each social sector.
Poverty alleviation programs are established to provide community folks with ample opportunities to generate income independently and encourage self-reliance amongst themselves through livelihood projects and other skills training programs.
Significantly pro-poor projects of the government such as the Phil-Health Indigency Program, Gender and Development, Early Child Development, and the maintenance of the operation of the Stimulation Therapeutic Activity Center for the disabled are widely implemented to ensure that services are equally provided to the less privileged, underserved, marginalized and disable populace.
Program addressing concerns of the youth are also included in the priority programs of the government to boost development of their potentials and inculcate in them the value of being active contributors to social reform and progress.
Peace and order situation is manned by able personnel of the Philippine National Police, member of the Barangay Policing Unit and active barangay intelligence networks in coordination with the provincial Police headquarter and other military agencies involved in the peace program.
All plans, programs, projects and other related activities geared for development are formulated and implemented based on the assessment of prevailing conditions in the municipality.
Key decision are based on legislative issues and concerns as presented by local leaders and other significant sectoral representatives, after which plans and processes are carefully crafted according to the actual needs in the community.
Through assessment and evaluation of the proposed projects are conducted before it is finalized for implementation to validate the necessity of the proposed program. Regular pre-implementation protocol are strictly observed on specific details compliance with directives and regulations issues by agencies involved such as the Commission on Audit, Department of Budget and Management and other partner agencies.
With the Local Chief Executive overseeing actual developmental plan implementation, project management is usually under the direction of the Office of the Municipal Engineer in coordination with the Municipal Planning and Development Officer, and/or other specific government agencies as deemed necessary.
Prioritization and implementation of particular plans and programs are transparently carried out, with constant conduct of check and balance during project implementation to prevent the prevalence of irregular activities that might hamper the quality of service provision.
With the appropriate programs identified, prioritized and implemented, today’s Makaton-ons enjoy premium quality public services with updated facilities, technically/intellectually capable and client friendly public servants facilitating the prompt delivery of basic government services.