Kalayaan, which forms part of the Philippines’ last frontier, is the country’s largest municipality in terms of territorial jurisdiction (64,976 square miles). The Kalayaan Island Group is endowed with rich and diverse natural resources, most especially its marine ecosystem. Recent study shows that the waters around Pag-asa island remains a potential fishery ground, in terms of fishery resources, which is worthy of conservation in order to sustain the long term benefit that we are suppose to gain from it.
Given that natural resources can be exploited for economic purposes, it is necessary to properly manage the Municipality’s natural resources so that sustainable development can be achieved. This does not mean that these resources cannot be used. However it does require that the use of renewable resources be managed so that their use can be sustained and adverse environmental and social impacts can be avoided. Collective and timely effort is imperative to conserve the municipality’s major natural resources for the benefit of the existing and future community. The proper management of these resources will ensure that the community will continue to benefit from these resources.
Located west of Palawan, the Municipality is situated in the West Philippine Sea, covering an approximate area of sixty four thousand nine hundred seventy six (64,976) square miles of water and total land area of two hundred ninety (290) square kilometers (based on DBM data). Based on NAMRIA report 2011 (Annex 1), there are total of ninety five (95) islands, cays, shoals and reefs within the area covered by PD 1596, seventy one (71) land formations fall within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines. Of the seventy one (71), twenty four (24) are occupied by various nations, five (5) (rural areas of Kalayaan) are effectively occupied by the Philippines (Rizal reef, Ayungin reef, Patag Island, Lawak Island and Likas island).
Twenty four land formations are beyond the EEZ, seventeen (17) of this are occupied and the rest unoccupied. Of the twenty four(24), four (4) are effectively being occupied by the Municipality of Kalayaan including its capital, Pag-asa Island, where the seat of government lies.
The municipality is comprised of only one (1) Barangay, with combined land area of 83.69 hectares (based on LGU data).
The Municipality of Kalayaan according to latest national census by NSO (2010) is placed at two hundred twenty two (222). This represents an increase of fifty one percent (51%) over the 2007 census figure. The lone municipality beyond the EEZ of the Philippines accounts for point zero three (0.03) percent of the provincial population.
The population of Kalayaan has shown variation in its growth rate. On 2007, the population decline at fifty one percent (51%) compared to 2000. However, on the latest census, the data provides an increase of fifty one percent (51%), almost identical to its previous census decrease.
The status of welfare of the Municipality’s population can be observed from selected development indicators in the health and nutrition, education, housing and similar subsectors. Status of welfare may also be deduced from the reciprocal development indicators which reflect levels of deprivation, lack of access to various social services, and of poverty in general.
The simple literacy rate, which indicates the proportion of the total population that is able to read, write and do simple arithmetic calculations, gives a quick impression of the educational or literacy level. The literacy rate for the whole municipality is 95%. On basic education, there is no secondary level education in the municipality. Elementary school, which opened June of 2012, enrolled all daycare and kindergarten children in Pag-asa Island.