Powerful quakes to affect economic performance of Region 12, Davao Region

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 7 Nov) – The powerful earthquakes that struck parts of Mindanao last month will have an impact on the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of Region 12 and Region 11 (Davao Region) for 2019, Socioeconomic Planning secretary Ernesto Pernia said on Thursday.

Damaged highway in Makilala, North Cotabato during the magnitude 6.5 earthquake on Oct. 31. MindaNews file photo by GG BUENO

In a press conference at the central office of the Philippine Statistics Authority live over Facebook this morning, Pernia said he believes that the reduction in the GRDP of these two regions would have a little bearing on the overall economic output of the Philippines for 2019, which posted gross domestic product of 6.2% in the third quarter.

According to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Davao Region—which comprises five provinces, six cities, and 43 municipalities—posted 4.44% growth in the third quarter, while Region 12—which consists of four provinces, four cities, and 45 municipalities—recorded a 2.7% growth for the same period.

“We still don’t have figures in terms of the impact but we are concentrating on the humanitarian response to the earthquake,” said Assistant Secretary Carlos Bernardo O. Abad Santos of the National Economic Development Authority.

While the earthquakes might affect the regions’ growth in the short term, Pernia added that reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts might increase their GRDP growth rates in the medium term.

“In the previous years—past two or three years—whenever we have destructive typhoons, our growth rates during those years, 2017 and 2018, were quite decent, better than we may have this year,” he said.

Damaged condominium in Davao City after the magnitude 6.5 earthquake. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) reported a total of 2,722 families or 13,600 individuals displaced in Davao Region due to the three powerful earthquakes that struck parts of Mindanao in the last two weeks of October.

As of Monday, data from RDRRMC showed that at least 2,717 families or 13,575 individuals of those displaced come from Bansalan, Matanao, Kiblawan, Padada, and Magsaysay municipalities in Davao del Sur, and 5 families or 25 individuals from Malita and Sta. Maria municipalities in Davao Occidental.

Last October 31, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake jolted parts of Mindanao, just two days after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake occurred. Last October 16, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake also shook Mindanao. Epicenter for all quakes was North Cotabato.

PSA Undersecretary Claire Dennis S. Mapa said the services sector posted the fastest growth with 6.9% among the major economic sectors. This was followed by industry at 5.6 percent, and agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing registering a growth of 3.1%. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)