DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 October) — The gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of Davao Region decreased to 7 percent in 2019 from 8.6 percent reported for the entire year of 2018, according to the data released by the Philippines Statistics Authority.
Despite the deceleration, the region’s economic performance remained one of the strongest in the Philippines, being the highest in Mindanao and the third highest among the 17 regions in the country after Bicol Region’s 7.4 percent and National Capital Region’s 7.2 percent.
Davao Region is composed of the provinces of Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental and Davao City.
Northern Mindanao and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao grew by 5.9 percent, Caraga Region by 5 percent, Zamboanga Peninsula by 4.6 percent and Soccsksargen by 3.5 percent, the lowest in the country.
Last August, Maria Lourdes Lim, National Economic Development Authority-Davao Region director said the GRDP target for the region this year has been adjusted to 3.4 percent from the original double digit estimate of 10.5-12.2 percent due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Lim said the agency has remained optimistic that the region would still manage to incur a positive growth by the end of this year, owing to its “discipline and resiliency” to adhere to the minimum health standards and to adapt to the “new normal” despite the strain on its overall economic output caused by the pandemic.
She said the agency projected an average growth target of 6 percent for the region until the end of the Duterte administration in 2022.
“Now, with COVID-19 pandemic, we have to adjust our growth estimates for this region, and based on our analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 since the first quarter of this year 2020, our projection is that we will be growing by 3.4% for this year,” she said in her report during the virtual launch of Davao Regional Development Plan 2017-2022.
She said the region has been showing a robust growth since 2016.
She hoped the region would manage to continue this momentum despite the crisis that confronted the country, with more investors pouring in fresh investments in the region’s key drivers, including tourism, real estate and agriculture.
“If I may point out, we have said earlier that Davao Region has been growing at the double digit rates since 2016 and 2017, and we hit 8.6 percent in 2018. We were the second fastest growing region throughout the country and top 1 regional economy in Mindanao,” she said.
The Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product grew by 6 percent last year. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)