Quake slows Region 7 growth

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014


DESPITE a magnitude 7.2 earthquake and a super typhoon that rocked the region, Central Visayas posted a high 7.4 percent growth in 2013. This growth, however, was lower than the 9.4 percent recorded the previous year.

According to the National Statistical and Coordination Board, the slower growth in industry and service sectors brought on the deceleration of the region’s economy.

The NSCB released the regional figures last week. It reported that Central Visayas contributed 0.5 percent point to the national GDP growth rate of 7.2 percent. It was one of 10 regions that did not manage to maintain the growth rate it experienced in 2012.

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Services sector

Services comprised 55.6 percent of the region’s gross domestic product while industry comprised 37.7 percent. Agriculture, hunting, fishing and forestry were at 6.8 percent.

The service sector’s growth slowed from the 9.1 percent in 2012 to 6.9 percent last year, after most of its subsectors registered slower growth. Among the subsectors, it was only in financial intermediation that growth was higher than in the year prior, up 13.7 percent from the 6.9 percent in 2012. The biggest contributor to the sector’s output, however, was the trade and repair subsector, posting a slower growth of 5.1 percent from the 12.1 percent in 2012.

Typhoon Yolanda may have devastated much of the region but it was seen as a reason for an increase in visitor arrivals in Metro Cebu, as many international relief workers made it their operations center and jump off point to disaster stricken areas of the Visayas. This led to a strong performance in tourism and business process management, bringing 5.2 percent growth in other services and 6.9 percent for real estate and renting business activity.

Industry sector

From a 12-percent growth in 2012, the industry sector slowed to 9.7 percent last year.

Manufacturing, being the biggest contributor to the sector, grew 14 percent, much higher than the 6.3 percent the previous year. Mining and quarrying grew five percent while construction was up 2.1 percent while EGWS (electricity, gas and water supply) posted a 4.3 percent growth.

Agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishery

The agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishery sector posted a growth of 0.3 percent in 2013 from a 0.6 percent contraction in the previous year, with agriculture and forestry recovering slightly from a 0.4 percent contraction in 2012 to a 0.9 percent growth in 2013.

The biggest contributor to Central Visayas’ GDP growth was the service sector, which was at 3.9 percentage points. Industry comprised 3.6 percentage points while agriculture contributed less than 0.1 percentage point.

Elsewhere in the country, the Zamboanga Peninsula suffered a blow from last year’s violence, growing just 4.3 percent. The previous year it experienced 12.9 percent growth.

And even with the devastation wrought by Yolanda, Eastern Visayas grew 5.7 percent from a negative output of 6.4 percent in 2012.

The fastest growth came from the Bicol region, up 9.4 percent in 2013 from 6.9 percent in 2012.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 06, 2014.

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