WESTERN Visayas has posted an economic growth of 8.4 percent last year, making it as the fourth fastest growing regional economy in the country, the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) reported.
Citing reports from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) presented during the 2017 Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) Media Conference in Iloilo City Thursday, Neda, in a press statement, said Western Visayas is next to Cordillera Administrative Region, and Northern Mindanao nad Central Luzon.
The agency said the higher growth rate is attributed mainly to the recovery of the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing (AHFF) sector, and better performance of the service sector.
Reports showed that the agriculture sector rebounded from negative 1.8 percent in 2016 to positive 8.8 percent growth last year. The service sector, meanwhile, grew from 6.7 percent in 2016 to 8.2 percent in 2017.
In terms of industry sector, it slowed down to 8.8 percent in 2017 from its previous recorded growth of 10.6 percent in 2016.
The service sector continued to account for the largest share of the region’s economy at 57.3 percent, followed by industry with 24.1 percent, and AHFF sector with 18.6 percent share, it further showed.
“Western Visayas economy accelerated in 2017 from only 5.9 percent growth in 2016 or an increase by 2.5 percentage points,” Neda-6 said.
Ro-Ann Bacal, regional director of Neda-6, underscored the commendable efforts of different government agencies and local governments units.
She also cited the enthusiasm of farmers, growers, and fishers in the region, who are working with agriculture organizations to diversify their produce, shift to mechanization, and better practices to improve productivity.
The Neda said 2017 reflects the continuing and completion of government projects started earlier, plus increments from the year’s budgets.
“Outside of National Capitol Region, Western Visayas remains to be the fifth largest regional economy of the country and also fifth in terms of per capita GRDP,” it added.