Central Visayas ranked 4th in list of top regional economies in PH-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
CENTRAL Visayas may not have been among the top regions that posted fast growth from the previous year, but it still remains the fourth top regional economy in the country.
National Economic Development Authority (Neda) 7 Assistant Regional Director Ruth Cruz said that the value of Central Visayas’ gross domestic product (GDP) was at P428 billion in constant 2000 prices and P733 billion in current prices.
That figure, she said, combines the GRDPs of the top three highest growing, non-NCR regions (Bicol, Soccsargen and Caraga) and makes up 24 percent of the nine regions in Visayas and Mindanao.
Central Visayas grew 7.4 percent, slightly lower than the 7.5 percent target under its Regional Development Plan and slower than the 9.2 percent growth it registered the previous year. For Cruz, this was still “in the high growth path.”
The region’s GRDP per capita grew 5.8 percent to P59,425, under a population projection of 7.2 million. It ranked fourth in the Philippines, after the National Capital Region (P195,806), Calabarzon (P84,657) and Cordillera (P76,284).
The slow performance was from the industry sector, dragged down by the slow growth in construction. Cruz explained that they expected a higher performance from construction, but it only grew 2.1 percent from 27.5 percent in 2012. However, she said the sector has maintained its ability to stay above the national level of 7.2 percent.
The manufacturing sector posted impressive growth among industries, from 6.3 percent the previous year to 14 percent last year. Of the P15 billion increase from the industries, Cruz said P13 billion came from manufacturing alone. Since there has been a call for the resurgence of manufacturing, Cruz said this indicates a step in the right direction and pointed out that the region was only one of five that managed see an increase in gross value added.
The strong manufacturing sector pushed many services to grow as well. She also noted the growth in financial intermediation as a good indicator that the region is being recognized as a financial center, with more financial services reaching the masses.
This year, they expect 13 to 16 percent growth in industry, with rehabilitation projects and big ticket infrastructure projects in the works.
With agriculture’s growth stagnant, Neda 7 feels the need to integrate agriculture into the growth of industry and services. The agency also suggests that bottlenecks in the supply of raw materials be reduced.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 14, 2014.