CV economy grew 7.9% in 2011-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) yesterday said that the Central Visayas economy is one of the fastest growing in the country with 7.9 percent economic growth in 2011.
Speaking before the Agio (Association of Government Information Officers) Forum, Neda 7 Assistant Director Efren Carreon said the areas of interest of investors in Central Visayas are in information technology and business process outsourcing (BPO), tourism, real estate development, and retail trade.
Carreon said around 60,000 workers are employed in the IT-BPO sector. If the employees have an average salary of P20,000, this translates to more than P1 billion in monthly payroll money from abroad coming to Cebu.
“That’s why banks and restaurants are sprouting because aside from BPO, there is a boom in the construction industry,” Carreon said.
But Carreon also said the government must also look at safeguarding the welfare of workers in the IT-BPO sector since it is new. One of the concerns is that it is difficult to determine when a call center will close shop, and if it does, it would leave workers suddenly unemployed, unpaid and without benefits.
Carreon said that another thing the government should do is to find out how the economic growth can trickle down to ordinary people.
“We are not happy if there are beggars on the streets because this will mean they failed to get their share of the economic growth,” Carreon said.
The Neda official said that based on Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP), Visayas economic growth is driven by industry and services.
In the industry sector, the growth of the construction industry went up from 10.6 percent in 2010 to 21.5 percent in 2011.
Carreon said it is in this sector that poor people who have no proper education can be employed.
For the service sector, transport, storage and communications went up from 2.6 percent in 2010 to 6.1 percent in 2011.
The real estate renting and business activities also went up from 10.2 percent in 2010 to 10.9 percent in 2011.
“We have to promote as many industries as we can in order to create more employment opportunities, which will lead to more income, increase in the demands for goods and services, hence, increase production,” Carreon said.
According to Carreon, they want to maintain the 7.9 annual economic growth in order to reach an average of 7.2 percent by 2016.
Jo Villamor of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said her agency is helping the countryside in raising the people’s income.
She said DTI led the people into subcontracting the production of goods where exporters buy their finished products.
For the first semester of 2012 alone, Villamor said they have generated 17,657 jobs and P109.9 million in income.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 26, 2012.