Regions grew faster than NCR in 2017

 

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

All 17 regions of the country posted positive growths in 2017, with the highest double -digit growths posted by the Cordillera Autonomous Region (12.1 percent), Davao (10.9 percent) and Central Luzon (9.3 percent). But in terms of GDP contribution, NCR continued to have the largest share of the country’s Gross Domestic Product at 36.4 percent.

 

The National Economic and Development Authority said the massive infrastructure program—Build Build Build—will further subnational regional growth which means the country is on the right track with its development agenda.

 

The Philippine Statistics Authority said that all 17 regions of the Philippines posted positive growth in 2017 aside from CAR, Davao and Central Luzon, those that registered positive growths were Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), Western Visayas, SOCCSKARGEN (South CotabatoCotabato CityCotabato ProvinceSultan KudaratSaranganiGeneral Santos City), and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao while the NCR posted 6.1 percent.

 

“The government is now waging its biggest campaign yet—the Build, Build, Build—and it gives regions hope. They are getting a big share in the government’s infrastructure projects and programs,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.

 

The end-goal of the government’s massive infrastructure program is to make the regions better connected, address socioeconomic inequities by linking lagging regions with leading ones, improve efficiency and productivity for further growth, and reduce disaster vulnerability, as stated in the National Spatial Strategy under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022.

 

Pernia said that Cordillera’s actual GRDP more than doubled its target of 4-5 percent in 2017, with the recovery of its industry and agriculture sectors. He said that this was made possible by the government’s increased spending on public infrastructure and social protection. Increased investments in private construction also improved connectivity within the region and its neighbors, Pernia added.

 

Meanwhile, Davao’s growth, which has surpassed its targets for six consecutive years, was pushed by its construction, mining and quarrying industries.

 

“In Davao, there is a continuous boom in private construction, particularly for mass housing and property development, and in government infrastructure projects,” Undersecretary for regional development Adoracion M. Navarro explained. The mining sector in the region also posted a double-digit growth of 18.2 percent partly due to the increase in produced gold.

 

Navarro said Davaoeños are setting their sights on several Build, Build Build projects, including the Davao City Coastal Road, Davao Food Exchange Complex, Tagum-Davao-Digos line of the Mindanao Railway System, Davao-Samal bridge, improvement of the Davao International Airport, modernization of Sasa Port, Davao Fish Port Complex, and the New Agdao Public Market.

 

“The implementation of these projects will help spur economic growth and generate employment in the region,” Navarro added.

 

Similarly, planned major infrastructure projects in Central Luzon include the development of the New Clark City, Clark International Airport Terminal Building, and the Manila-Clark Railway.

 

Pernia noted that these projects are well aligned with the National Spatial Strategy under the PDP 2017-2022. The strategy anticipates future growth based on trends in population, economic activities, and services. It emphasizes that Metro Manila should be decongested and that growth must be directed to other regional centers. 

 

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