CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/17 September)—The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda 10) here, through its Macro and Development Administration Committee, has questioned the accuracy of the National Statistical Coordination Board’s (NSCB) latest figures on the gross regional domestic product of Northern Mindanao.
In an interview Monday, Engr. Cecilio Clarete, chief economic development specialist of Neda 10’s Knowledge Management Division was hopeful that with the Regional Development Council (RDC 10) Resolution 5 passed last week “urging the NSCB to re-estimate the gross regional domestic product,” the NSCB would correct its figures since “their current data does not reflect the real situation of the construction sector in the region.”
“Northern Mindanao has been consistently ahead from the other regions in the island in terms of economic growth and market expansion,” said Clarete, who is also the regional coordinator of the committee.
He said it would not be credible to say that construction in the region has decreased, as the NSCB figure would show, citing the ongoing construction of the Laguindingan Airport.
“The Laguindingan Airport Project spending increased by 84.34 percent, last year—from Php 739.32 million in 2010 to Php 1.36 billion in 2011,” he added.
In their meeting last week, Clarete’s committee asked the RDC-10 to pass a resolution urging NSCB to review and correct its GRDP of the region, saying the NSCB figures effectively weakened its status as the fastest growing economy in the island.
The NSCB figures—based on the 2000 GRDP for 2009 to 2011—purportedly revealed that the performance of the industry sector in the region slacked due to a 27.2-percent nose-dive of the construction sub sector, from P12.6 billion in 2010 to P9.2 billion last year.
“Northern Mindanao was one of the 11 regions that showed a deceleration in economic growth in 2011…The slower growth was mainly due to the decline in the industry sector and to the decelerated growth in the service sector,” according to a statement of NSCB posted in its website http://www.nscb.gov.ph/ru10/.
Although the region showed 2.5-percent growth last year, the NSCB posited it was a far cry from the 6.9-percent growth in 2010.
MindaNews tried to reach NSCB Director of Economic Statistics Raymundo Talento with the numbers, posted on its website but only a received the recorded reply “number is incorrect.”
Northern Mindanao outpaced the National Capital Region when the national economic growth plummeted to 3.8 percent in 2008. During the same period, the region recorded a growth rate of 5.3 percent.
“We have also monitored the total infrastructure projects, in the Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System, for national line agencies that also showed a stark increase of 15.02 percent, from Php 24.2 billion in 2010 to Php 27.8 billion, last year,” Clarete said. (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)