CENTRAL Visayas’ economy is back on track towards higher growth, with its economy expanding by 8.8 percent that amounted to P525 billion in 2016, after growing by only 4.9 percent the year before.
In a news conference yesterday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 7 revealed the industry sector as posting the highest growth of 14.6 percent among the three major sectors. The services sector grew 5.9 percent but agriculture retracted 0.6 percent.
“This performance continued to place the Central Visayas economy as among the top performing regions in the country, this time placing us as the fourth fastest after Region 8 (Eastern Visayas with 12.4 percent), Region 3 (Central Luzon with 9.5 percent), and Region 11 (Davao Region with 9.4 percent),” said Efren Carreon, director of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) 7.
Central Visayas also surpassed the growth target for 2016, which was at 8.6 percent. Election spending last year also contributed to a higher GRDP, said Carreon.
“With the 8.8 percent growth rate, the seven-year moving average GRDP growth rate stands at 8.2 percent, still the highest ever recorded. This is even higher than the national seven-year moving average GDP growth rate of 6.3 percent,” he continued.
Carreon expressed delight over Eastern Visayas’ performance, which bested all the regions in the country. He said this signals more developments have arrived in the Yolanda-hit region.
For Central Visayas, the PSA results, which came out two and half months ahead of the regular July schedule, showed that the region remained a service-oriented economy, with the services sector accounting for the largest share of the region’s economic output at 55.5 percent in 2016, lower than the 57 percent share recorded in the previous year.
Industry followed at 39.1 percent leaving behind agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing (AHFF) with 5.4 percent share.
Carreon said Central Visayas is also the fourth largest economy in the country, after National Capital Region, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon. Central Visayas contributed 6.4 percent to the country’s GDP in 2016.
As a breakdown for the industry sector, PSA 7 Director Ronaldo Taghap said Central Visayas’ industry group posted a 14.6 percent growth in 2016, much faster compared to the 0.02 percent decline recorded the previous year. One of its subsectors, construction, rebounded by 40.4 percent in 2016.
Meawhile, manufacturing and electricity, gas, and water supply (EGWS) grew by 5.9 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively. However, mining and quarrying declined by one percent from the growth of three percent in the previous year.
On the other hand, services declined to 5.9 percent in 2016, which was lower than the 8.7 percent growth last year. The PSA said the decelaration was due to the slowing down of transporation, storage and communication (TSC), with 5.1 percent in 2016 compared to the 10.9 percent in 2015; trade and repair with 4.6 percent; financial intermediation with 3.8 percent, and “other services” with 8.1 percent.
Also under services, public administration and defense accelerated to 7.9 percent, higher than the 1.4 percent growth the subsector registered in 2015. Real estate, renting, and business activities maintained its steady pace at 7.1 percent in 2016.
Agriculture declined from the 2.3 percent growth it registered the other year. Taghap said this reversal was due to the turnaround of agriculture and forestry, which pulled down the growth by 1.4 percent. In contrast, fishing recovered in 2016, as it grew by 4.4 percent from a decline of 0.7 percent in 2015.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on May 05, 2017.
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