Gov’t sees double-digit growth for Davao Region’s 2019 economic output

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 January) – The government has remained optimistic that the economic output of Davao Region will grow between 9.5 percent and 10.5 percent for 2019 despite a series of major earthquakes last year that affected the property development sector, one of its major growth drivers, an official said.

Maria Lourdes Lim, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Davao Region director on Friday said the expectation was based on the area’s “stable macroeconomic fundamentals”.

The Himeji Building of Ecoland 4000 Residences in Davao City heavily damaged by the magnitude 6.5 earthquake on 31 October 2019.. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“We have yet to see the impact (of earthquakes) for the quarter updates but I’m still optimistic this will not really make a big dent in terms of our GRDP (gross regional domestic product),” Lim said during a press conference on the Highlights of Davao Region’s 2019 Socioeconomic Performance.

By March this year the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will release a report on the  economic performance of the region, which comprises 5 provinces, 6 cities, and 43 municipalities, she said.

PSA said the region’s GRDP in 2018 decelerated to 8.6 percent from 10.7 percent in 2017. Despite the slowdown, Davao’s economy had remained robust, emerging as the second strongest regional economy among the country’s 17 regions and the strongest in Mindanao.

It said real estate, renting and business activities slowed down from 6.7 percent in 2017 to 6.4 percent in 2018. Services sector grew from 6.9 percent in 2017 to 8.1 percent in 2018; 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; 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 the series of powerful earthquakes in 2019 should give a signal to the players in real property sector “to really observe strict implementation of National Building Code”.

“As we have seen particularly in urban areas of the region, most affected were some condo units. Those contractors that have not observed the National Building Code were the ones who suffered. In fact, they have to compensate their tenants because of this destruction,” she said.

She said the latest earthquake that occurred on December 15, 2019 had caused significant damages in the municipalities of Matanao, Magsaysay, Bansalan, Hagonoy and Digos City in Davao del Sur.

She said they recorded at least 37,545 individuals displaced, 34,866 houses destroyed and 1,322 classrooms damaged. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)