PSA: Davao Region economy slowed down in 2018

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 April) – Davao Region’s economy posted an 8.6-percent growth in 2018, a deceleration from the double-digit growth of 10.7 percent in 2017, Philippine Statistics Authority director Ruben D. Abaro, Jr. said on Thursday.

During a news conference on the Gross Regional Domestic Product at the Pinnacle Hotel & Suites, Abaro said despite the slowdown, the region’s economic performance had remained robust, emerging as the second strongest regional economy among the country’s 17 regions and the strongest in Mindanao.

Bicol Region’s output of 8.9 percent is the highest while Caraga’s was the lowest at 3.2 percent.

Construction workers work on the steel foundation of a building in downtown Davao City on 28 November 2017. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

The region also surpassed the gross domestic product of the country of 6.2% in 2018, Abaro said.

National Economic Development Authority 11 director Maria Lourdes Lim said that although the region’s economic performance missed the target growth of 9.2 percent for 2018, it remains “highly commendable” because “sustaining a high growth rate despite a number of challenges encountered by the region in 2018, such as high inflation is admirable.”

“We are still delighted to report that the Region maintained its rank as the second fastest growing regional economy among the country’s 17 regions, despite commodity supply shortages and severe inflationary pressures, amid soaring global oil prices,” she said.

She said the Davao Region maintained its position as the largest regional economy with a total output of P400.8 billion. Of the three major sectors, she said services contributed 49.3 percent, industry 40.1 percent and agriculture 10.6 percent.

Lim added Davao Region was the biggest contributor among Mindanao’s five regions, channeling 4.4% to the total economic output of the Philippines.

The four other regions in the island are Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Caraga and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“These results show the Region’s strong standing among its peers, validate its role as the prime economic, financial and commercial hub in Mindanao, and amplify its vast potentials as the primary growth center in the southern Philippines,” she said.

Abaro said the services sector grew from 6.9 percent in 2017 to 8.1 percent in 2018.

Under this sector, the trade and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods sub-sector grew by 7.4 percent, slowing down from 8.7 percent in 2017; real estate, renting and business activities from 6.7 percent to 6.4 percent; transport, storage, and communication rose to 8.1 percent in 2018 from 7.2 percent in 2017; financial intermediation increased to 10.4 percent in 2018 from 6.2 percent in 2017; public administration and defense/ compulsory social security nearly doubled from 6.5 percent in 2017 to 12.9 percent in 2018, and other services rose to 8.3 percent from 3.8 percent in 2017.

Lim said among the reasons for the expansion of the services sector was “buoyed by the strong export performance of the region” and “government expenditures on public services, including social protection and security and defense were higher in 2018 due to the current administration’s priority on peace, public order and security programs, social welfare and protection programs.”

The overall regional performance of agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing sector last year registered a positive growth of 2.9 percent from 1.7 percent in 2017, owing to the 3.5-percent growth in the agriculture and fishery sub-sector.

However, the output of the sub-sector would have been bigger if it had not been pulled down by the decline in the output of the fishery sector to -7 percent in 2018 from -3.5 percent in 2017.

The industry sector also decelerated to 10.9 percent last year from 19 percent in 2017. Among its four sub-sectors, only the growth registered in electricity, gas, and water supply of 18.1 percent had surpassed the 2017 growth of 3.8 percent. Construction’s growth decelerated from 37.9 percent in 2017 to 18.1 percent in 2018; mining and quarrying from 18.2 percent to 8.3 percent; and manufacturing from 11.4 percent to 6.4 percent. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)