DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 April) – Davao Region’s gross regional domestic product contracted by 7.6 percent in 2020 from a positive growth rate of 7 percent in 2019 owing to the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Philippine Statistics Authority-Davao director Ruben Abaro Jr.
During the virtual news conference on the 2020 economic performance of the region on Thursday, Abaro said the region’s economy was estimated at P832.1 billion, lower by P68.8 billion as against P900.9 billion reported in 2019.
Of the 11 major industries, he said the “other services,” which include recreation, gambling, and personal services, incurred the biggest contraction at 38.2 percent. This was followed by accommodation and food services activities as well as transportation and storage at 34.7 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively.
But Abaro said there were industries that performed positively last year such as the financial and insurance activities with an expansion of 7.9 percent, public administration with 6.4 percent, and information and communication with 3.9 percent.
In terms of share to the economic growth, the services accounted for 58.8 percent of the total regional economy while the share of industry and agriculture, fisheries, and forestry accounted for 24.2 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively, he said.
However, the official reported that the services and industry sectors, which posted negative growth rates of 3.9 percent each, had pulled down the overall GRDP growth of Davao Region for last year. The agriculture, fisheries, and forestry sector was the only one that reported positive growth at 0.2 percent.
He said the region emerged as the fifth biggest economy in the country and the biggest in Mindanao by the end of 2020. The National Capital Region emerged as the biggest nationwide while the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was the smallest.
Before lockdowns were imposed in the second quarter of last year, National Economic Development Authority-Davao said the region ushered the year 2020 with “hope and optimism” that it would continue to be one of the fastest economically growing regions in the country.
“There was good reason to believe so because the region grew by 7 percent in 2019, placing us 3rd fastest growing region in the country, higher than the national average of 6% and the biggest economy in Mindanao,” she said.
But the pandemic disrupted the growth momentum as the immediate concerns had shifted to containing the spread of the virus while keeping the economy afloat, she said.
Despite the decline, Lim said the region’s GRDP remained better than the negative 9.6 percent growth rate of the Philippines last year.
She said lesser business activities and work interruptions were blamed for the decline in GRDP, as mobility of people was restricted in order to contain the spread of the virus. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)