CAR posts 6% growth

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Sunday, August 3, 2014


THE economy of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) grew by 6 percent in 2013 from mere 1 percent a year ago.

Last year's growth also surpassed the target of 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

Dolores Molintas of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said the industry and service sectors were the main contributors to growth.

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The industry sector accounted for 48.8 percent while the service sector had share of 40.8 percent.

The rebound of the industry sector, which recorded 4.1 percent in 2013 from 3.9 percent in 2012, was attributed to the growth of its subsectors particularly mining and quarrying; construction; electricity, gas and water supply.

Molintas specified the increased production of gold, silver and copper contributed to a surge of 12.7 percent.

The construction industry noted the fastest growth at 17.2 percent, which was due to the rehabilitation and construction of national roads, tourism roads, farm to market roads and public infrastructures.

On the other hand, Molintas said the manufacturing "turned around from negative 2.1 percent to 1.4 percent last year." attributing it to the 50 percent increase in Philippine Economic Zone Authority exports as a result of global demand.

The services sector also picked up the pace recording 9.6 percent last year from 7.9 percent in 2012.

The growth in real estate, renting and business (RERBA) was attributed to the in demand business process outsourcing (BPO) such as in Ayala Technohub, Abanao Square and SM City Baguio.

Furthermore, financial intermediation also sped up by 14.7 percent while public administration and defense and other services fast-tracked by 6.4 percent and 6.6 percent correspondingly.

In contrast, the transport, storage and communication trade and repair slowed down last year due to the purchase of goods and services in Region 1, Region 2 and National Capital Region instead of procuring these products and services in Cordillera.

Moreover, the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing sector shrank from 1.5% in 2012 to 1.3 percent last year.

"Despite the increase in agricultural production, these were not huge enough to result in a corresponding regional output relative to the previous years," Molintas said.

She added the lifeblood of the region which is agriculture may not have produced more than what's expected because of the frequent rainfalls and the impact of typhoons last year.

Molintas asserted for the region to sustain the growth in economy, there is a need to empower the agricultural sector and the micro and macro enterprises sector which benefit many workers in the manufacturing sector which decelerated in 2013.

"We should continue to promote investments for enterprise and business development as well as infrastructure development particularly on access improvements, tourism related infrastructures, hydropower development and information and communication technologies," she added.

While the region continue its economic growth, observers said the challenge is how to sustain and outdo the development.

CAR is among the regions which recorded fast growth rates in 2013 ranking third nationwide in terms of Gross Regional Domestic Product-Per Capita or the economic output per person.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 04, 2014.

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