Leyte is one of the Philippines’ most historic provinces. Ferdinand Magellan passed through Leyte en route to Cebu in the 16thcentury. Leyte is also the site of the famous landing of the U.S. Forces under Gen. Douglas MacArthur during World War II. The capital city of Tacloban is the most important air and seaport on the eastern coast, while Ormoc City and Baybay City are the seaport outlets on the western coast.
The Provincial Government of Leyte has a vision of an empowered people, living in a sustainable environment; and the Province as a center and supplier of renewable energy, a leading Information and Communication Technology (ICT) service provider, and a historico-cultural tourism zone. It seeks to achieve its goal of accelerating economic development by positioning the Province as a strategic hub for inter-regional trade and industry.
Its strong collaboration with its business sector has provided a solid base for developing key agri-based industries like abaca-based processing (e.g. sinamay, textile manufacturing, cordage, pulp and paper, etc), and coco-based processing (e.g. coconut oil, copra, activated carbon, coco-coir, etc).
Leyte has been voted as the “Most Business-Friendly Province in the Philippines” for two straight years – in 2009 and 2010 – by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2011, the Province received the Seal of Good Housekeeping from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for its excellent performance in local governance, particularly in the areas of Planning, Sound Fiscal Management, Transparency and Accountability, and Valuing Performance Management.
However, poverty incidence remains high. Through local economic development (LED), the Province of Leyte aims to reduce the level of poverty incidence in the area with increased number of jobs and improved participation of stakeholders in the local economy. In particular, Leyte is seeking to leverage its bright potentials in tourism, which injected around $17.69 million into the local economy in 2011. The province also expects to gain from the massive international tourism campaign of the Department of Tourism (DOT) with the slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”.