Palace told: Send economic experts to Eastern Visayas-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
BUSINESS leaders in Eastern Visayas asked Malacañang to “send more economic experts” to the region as they raise concerns on the “ailing” local economy.
The Eastern Visayas Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EVCCI), in a motion approved last week, asked President Benigno Aquino III to support the National Economic and Development Authority and the Regional Development Council in coming up with plans that would enhance economic performance until 2016.
“The negative growth rate of 6.2 percent is indeed very alarming, as it is only Region 8 that falls behind even far from the ailing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (1.2 percent) and Cordillera Autonomous Region (1 percent), with the country under the (Aquino) administration enjoying from 6.8 percent Gross Domestic Product growth rate in 2012,” the group stated.
The National Statistical Coordination Board reported that the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth rate went to a negative 6.2 percent in 2012 from a positive 2.1 percent in 2011.
The industry sector, which accounted for 38.1 percent of the GRDP, posted a negative 18.5 percent growth rate last year from a positive 1.7 percent in 2011. The manufacturing subsector growth rate plunged to a negative 40.4 percent in 2012 from a positive 6.9 percent in 2011.
The poor economic performance was largely affected by the six-month shutdown of Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. (Pasar), the only copper smelting and refining plant in the Philippines. Its plant is located in Isabel, Leyte.
EVCCI, composed of 12 local business chambers, asked the government to reduce its dependence on the performance of Pasar and consider the potential of locally-made products.
The business community calls for a more in-depth assessment of the region’s economic performance in 2012 and improve development plans for the remaining years of the Aquino Administration.
The resolution will be presented by EVCCI regional governor Roy Bernard C. Fiel in this week’s Philippine Business Conference in Manila.
The national body would then include the resolution among the documents that would be handed down to Aquino after his speech. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)