Biz leader optimistic Davao can surpass 2018 GRDP target

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 Dec) – Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) president Arturo Milan said he is optimistic that Davao Region can surpass the target gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of 9.2% to 10.2% in 2018.

Tourism, which is active in places like Samar Island, is among those driving the Davao Region’s economy. MindaNews file photo by JULES BENITEZ

In an interview on Monday, Milan said the region may overshoot the target due to the rapidly growing services, tourism, and property development industries as the main drivers of the regional economy.

The business leader said he believes the “best is yet to come” for the region despite seeing a strong 2018.

Davao achieved a milestone double-digit economic growth of 10.9 percent in 2017, the highest in the history of the region, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The services sector accounted for the highest share in Davao’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) with 49.6 percent; industry, 39.2 percent; and agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing, 11.2 percent.

Milan said the business community saw a very strong tourism industry with the increased domestic flights and new international flights flying to and from F. Bangoy International Airport (formerly Davao International Airport).

XiamenAir launched on Tuesday its Davao-Quanzhou-Davao flights, more than a month after Cathay Pacific’s Davao-Hong Kong-Davao flights launched on October 28.

“Agriculture will still be very, very low in terms of its contribution while we are practically an agriculture economy. But I would say the services sector because of the property boom that we are having right now, and also the tourism sector because of the increasing attractiveness of Davao in terms of tourist destinations, born out of new direct flights and increased domestic flights to Davao,” he said.

Milan urged tourism players across all provinces in the region, including the neighboring provinces, to come up with an “Integrated Tourism Plan” to seize the opportunities presented by the opening of the new air connectivity.

“That’s why the challenge now for Davao is really to come up with an Integrated Tourism Plan so that we can really sustain all these flights that we’re having because we have so many attractive tourist destinations,” he said.

Milan said the region can take pride in the beautiful tourist destinations from islands to highlands, from the beaches of Mati, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley province, to the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental

Mt. Hamiguitan is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site after its inscription on June 23, 2014, the sixth in the Philippines and the only mountain range in the country which attained such distinction. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)