Zambo siege pulls down economic growth of Zamboanga Peninsula

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/31 July) – The economic growth of Zamboanga Peninsula, formerly known as Region IX, declined by 8.6 percent as an offshoot of the September 2013 siege.

It basically pulled down the region from the top spot in 2012 to 14th place last year in terms of economic growth rate standing in the entire country.

Dr. Mewchun Pamaran, Philippine Statistics Authority-National Statistical Coordination Board (PSA-NSCB) regional director, disclosed Thursday that the economy of Zamboanga Peninsula decelerated from 12.9 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent in 2013, or a decline of 8.6 percent.

Zamboanga Peninsula comprises the cities of Dapitan, Dipolog, Isabela, Pagadian and Zamboanga and the provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.

Pamaran said the decline in economic growth was brought about by the slower growth of the industry and service sectors as a result of the September 2013 siege.

The 2013 siege started September 9 when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front followers loyal to founding chair Nur Misuari infiltrated coastal barangays in this city.

Pamaran said the industry sector decelerated from 31.2 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent in 2013 as the manufacturing sub-sector also suffered a significant decline from 35.2 percent in 2012 to negative 0.1 percent last year due to the decrease in food production.

The manufacturing sub-sector accounts for 26.1 percent of the region’s total economy.

The other sub-sectors of the industry sector are mining and quarrying, construction, and electricity, gas and water supply (EGWS).

Pamaran said that mining and quarrying contracted from a 0.6 percent growth in 2012 to negative 3.9 percent in 2013 brought about by the decline in gold production.

She said the EGWS also registered a decelerated growth of 2.9 percent last year from 4.0 percent in 2012.

On the other hand, Pamaran said construction accelerated from 26.1 percent in 2012 to 29.1 percent in 2013.

Pamaran said the service sector decelerated from 9.6 percent in 2012 to 6.1 percent in 2013, largely due to the slowdown in Transport, Storage and Communication (TSC), Trade and Repair, and Real Estate, Renting and Business (RERBA).

The other sub-sectors of the service sector are Financial Intermediation, Public Administration and Defense (PAD) and Other Services aside from TSC, Trade and Repair, and RERBA.

Pamaran said TSC decelerated from 8.2 percent in 2012 to 2.4 percent in 2013 while Trade and Repair slowed down from 10.5 percent in 2012 to 2.1 percent last year as both wholesale and retail trade declined.

She said that RERBA has posted a downturn from 17.3 percent in 2012 to 4.0 percent in 2013.

However, Pamaran said that Financial Intermediation posted an accelerated growth of 14.2 percent in 2013 from 11.7 percent in 2012 due to the increased outputs of banks and non-banks.

She said that PAD grew from 5.2 percent in 2012 to 5.8 percent in 2013 while Other Services also accelerated from 7.1 percent in 2012 to 10.6 percent last year.

The service sector remains as the largest contributor to the region’s economy as its share increased from 43.0 percent in 2012 to 43.7 percent in 2013.

Pamaran said that Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing (AHFF) grew from negative 2.6 percent in 2012 to 0.7 percent in 2013.

She said they are optimistic the economic growth of the region will recover. (MindaNews)