Northern Mindanao's economy sustains upward trend

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014


NORTHERN Mindanao continues to be one of the contributors of the Philippine economy in 2013.

It is the largest producer of pineapple in the country, second largest producer of banana and corn and third largest producer of coconut and chicken.

This was revealed by National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Northern Mindanao Director and Acting Chair of the Regional Development Council Leon M. Dacanay Jr. in his State of the Region Address during the 101st RDC-Northern Mindanao meeting held in Cagayan de Oro City on May 22.

Dacanay also reported that the prices of basic commodities remained stable in the last two years posting inflation rates of 4.2 percent in 2012 and 4.4 percent in 2013 which is well within the 3-5 percent target set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Tax and customs receipts, on the other hand, reached P8.16 billion and P6.70 billion attributed to government’s aggressive implementation of programs against tax cheat and smugglers.

Investments also hit P13.3 billion in 2013, higher than the targeted P11.3 billion with trading, infrastructure services and servicing as top three performing sectors while volume of exports expanded by more than 200 percent with coconut-based products remaining as one of the region’s top exports.

Moreover, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from which poor Filipinos enjoy government’s conditional cash transfer grant for health, education and family development have more than 270,000 household beneficiaries receiving a total of P7.34 billion since the 4Ps’ inception in 2008.

Dacanay also bared that the new international standard Laguindingan Airport which started operations in June 2013 is now the new gateway to Northern Mindanao.

He said the construction of the Panguil Bay Bridge between Tubod, Lanao del Norte and Tangub City is hoped to commence in 2015 to further improve intermodal transport system.

Towards reducing disaster risks, the Disaster Risk Reduction/Climate Change Adaptation (DRR/CCA)-enhanced Regional Physical Framework Plan (RPFP) for 2013-2040 has been completed along with the Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plans (PDPFP) of the five provinces and the Comprehensive Land use Plans (CLUP) of the three Sendong hard-hit cities in the region.

The P8.6 billion Flood Risk Management Project for Cagayan de Oro River (FRIMP-CDOR), which will improve the resilience of communities along Cagayan de Oro river to flooding hazards, has also been recently endorsed by the Investment Coordination Committee-Technical Board (ICC-TB) to the ICC-Cabinet Committee.

Despite the gains, the challenge of translating the region’s economic growth into an inclusive one remains.

Poverty persists with one-third of the families still considered poor amid a decade-long growth.

While the region is nearing full employment level, underemployment remains unwanted.

Thus, the region looks forward to a rapid and sustained growth that generates not simply employment but decent jobs for non-skilled and low-skilled workers in situations of high unemployment and underemployment to ultimately attain inclusive growth.

Meanwhile, the RDC-Northern Mindanao also endorsed the following proposals during the meeting: J.R. Borja-Carmen-Patag Skyway Project; RDC-X Facility Improvement Project particularly the Procurement of a Brand new 125 KVA Generator Set; POPCOM’s Guidelines to Reduce Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning; and the Creation of a Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems.

The body likewise expressed support to the filling up of vacancies for prosecutors in Region X; strengthening the institutionalization of the ALKANSSSYA Program of the Social Security System (SSS) in Region X;
Additional provisions in the implementation of the Essential Health Care program; economic analysis of Climate Change Adaptation strategies in selected coastal areas of the Philippines; and.

The participation of the RDC-X private sector representatives (PSRs) to the 5th RDC PSR National Convention on August 13-15, 2014 in Iloilo City.
The body also confirmed the creation of a Regional Food Security Technical Working Group. (PIA)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 28, 2014.

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