COTABATO City (MindaNews / 02 May) – The economic performance of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) grew by 7.5 percent in 2021, recording the second-fastest growth among the 17 regions during the period, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
Rosslaini Alonto, director general of the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Tourism (MTIT-BARMM), noted the economy of the Bangsamoro autonomous region expanded despite the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is the first time in the history of the Bangsamoro autonomous region. We used to be at the bottom. Despite the pandemic and the (Bangsamoro) government transition, we managed to make things work that boosted our economy,” she said.
Alonto attributed the economic growth of the region to the performance of the Bangsamoro government, the automatic block grant from the national government, the entry of investments and the resiliency of the residents.
The economy of BARMM increased from -1.9% in 2019-2020 to 7.5% in 2020-2021, at constant 2018 prices. The top industries that registered the highest growth were: Human Health and Social Work Activities (22.2%), Mining and Quarrying (20.2%), Accommodation and Food Service Activities (17.9%), Construction (12.2%), and Financial and insurance activities (10.6%). All other industries also registered positive growths, a report from the Bangsamoro Information Office said.
Measurement of the economic performance of every region is based on Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) — a tool to monitor the economic performance of a region covering the value of goods and services produced during the reference period, and Gross Regional Domestic Expenditure (GRDE) — the expenditure of residents of the region in the domestic territory plus their expenditures in other regions including the rest of the world.
PSA-BARMM Officer-in-Charge Engr. Akan Tula, who presented the result of BARMM’s economic performance, said that BARMM had the second-fastest growth among all regions in the Philippines, between CALABARZON (7.6%) and CAR (7.5%), and was among the four regions in the country that surpassed the pre-pandemic per capita of GRDP and GRDE levels.
“With the 5.7 percent total GDP (gross domestic product) of the country, BARMM contributed 7.5 percentage points to the country’s economy in 2021,” Tula added.
Abdullah Cusain, BARMM deputy senior minister, lauded the economic performance of the Bangsamoro region.
“We are resilient. We managed to strike a positive development in our economy even if we are in the middle of a pandemic,” he said.
Salahuddin Hashim, a representative of the Bangsamoro Business Council, said the improved economy in the region gives them inspiration to do more and support micro, small and medium enterprises. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)