BY CARINA L. CAYON
Over a year after super typhoon Pablo brought severe devastation to the provinces of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, Davao Region has recovered and managed to improve its economy.
In a recent report of the National Economic and Development Authority and the Philippine Statistics Authority, the region’s economic performance has expanded by 6.8 percent based on its Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) which had a growth forecast of 5.6 percent in 2013.
NEDA-11 regional director Ma. Lourdes D. Lim said the growth was a remarkable achievement for the region.
“The 2013 GRDP estimates are a confirmation that Davao Region is truly resilient and that Dabawenyos have the capacity to recovery quickly from calamities and to rise above difficult challenges,” she stated.
Davao Region’s total production of goods and services was valued at PhP258.5 billion in 2013, Lim bared in a recent media conference on the region’s 2013 economic performance report.
From the production value, 53% came from the share of the service sector, 32% from the industry sector, and 15% from the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing (AHFF).
The PSA reported though that the service sector performance has slowed down from the 8.8% accomplishment in 2012 to 6.6% last year.
This, despite the robust push in the wholesale and retail trade as seen in the several openings and expansions of shopping malls, buffet restaurants and other commercial establishments.
The ICT Business Process Outsourcing was among the major drivers in the region’s economic growth, having 32 ICT companies operating in Davao City with an estimated 21,000 fulltime employees.
Lim said Davao City was ranked first among 37 Philippine outsourcing destinations and owned the 69th spot in the Tholon’s world ranking as a BPO hub.
Tourism remained vibrant with the entry of 1.8 million visitors which was 70% higher than the previous year, she added.
For the industry sector which significantly surpassed its target at 16.2% from 4.8%, the manufacturing sub-sector has the biggest contribution at 20.1% with its strong performance in the processing industries such as cement, food and drinks, fertilizers and minerals.
The highest growth rate at 18.9% came from the construction sub-sector of which achievement was attributed to the vigorous construction activities for government infrastructure projects intended for the rehabilitation of roads, bridges, school buildings, irrigation systems and construction of core shelters in Pablo-affected areas.
The agriculture sector which greatly suffered from the wrath of typhoon Pablo, got a negative 8% growth compared to the target of 2.2%.
Lim said the production of banana and coconut declined by 16%; coffee by 35%; rubber by 48%; abaca by 18%; palay by 6% and sugarcane by 3%.
However, she said, Davao Region remained to be the Philippine’s top producer of cacao at 79%, bananas at 42%, and coconut at 15% of the country’s total.
The region also ranked as the country’s 2nd highest producer of coffee and 3rd in abaca.
Lim also bared that Davao Region has retained its position as Mindanao’s top economy in terms of the GRDP value.
In 2014, the goal is to increase Davao Region’s GRDP by 7 percent, Lim said hoping that development partners from the government and private sectors will continue to work together to achieve this goal. (PIA-11/Carina L. Cayon)