Biz sector demands review of government performance

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Monday, July 29, 2013


THE business sector is demanding for a thorough review of government agency performance, following the release of the 2012 National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) report unveiling a negative 6.2 percent economic growth.

Reacting to the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) report, Roy Bernard Fiel, president of the Eastern Visayas Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has called on for performance review of every agency involved, particularly in areas of manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

“The government has to present more detailed report to guide stakeholders on how to address low economic growth,” Fiel said.

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Southern Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Robert Castañares, who have been consistently criticizing regional directors for unsatisfactory performance, asked to give more focus on agriculture and smaller industries.

“Majority of the region’s population relies on agriculture. Poor performance of concerned government agencies puts the lives of nearly four million people at stake,” he said.

Castañares expressed dismay that the operation slowdown of the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (Pasar) after a fire incident last year would significantly affect local economic figures.

“We have to improve the manufacturing sector to lessen the impact of Pasar slow performance. Any improvement of this industry has no impact to the people of Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) since they don’t get and process local raw materials,” he said.

In a statement, the NSCB said the GRDP growth rate nosedived to a negative 6.2 percent in 2012 from a positive 2.1 percent in 2011.

The industry sector, which accounted for 38.1 percent of the GRDP, posted a negative 18.5 percent growth rate last year from a positive 1.7 percent in 2011. The manufacturing subsector growth rate plunged to a negative 40.4 percent in 2012 from a positive 6.9 percent in 2011.

The agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing (AHFF) sector also contracted further with a negative 3.0 percent growth rate in 2012 from negative 0.8 percent in 2011. This was due to the decline in livestock and poultry production, as well as low prices of major crops such as coconut, sugarcane and abaca.

Fishing also slumped further to negative 6.3 percent from negative 4.1 percent in 2011.

The services sector was the only bright spot as it expanded by 7.5 percent last year compared with 4.5 percent in 2011.

Eastern Visayas, the third poorest region in the country, is the only area that recorded negative economic growth in 2012. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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