THERE is a need for Davao Region to focus on developing its agriculture and fisheries, industry, and service this year to surpass the 2018 gross regional domestic product (GRDP).
Maria Lourdes Lim, National Economic and Development Authority (Neda)-Davao director, during the 2018 Report on the Economic Performance of Davao Region News Conference at the Pinnacle Hotel, Thursday, April 25, said that agriculture and fisheries sector recorded a 2.9 percent growth, faster than the 1.7 percent growth in 2017; industry sector posted a 10.9 percent growth, a deceleration from 19 percent in 2017; and the service sector grew by 8.1 percent in 2018, faster than the 6.9 percent growth in 2017.
With the figures given, Lim said there are specific measures that they believe to help surpass the GRDP in 2018 and catch up with the target of 10.5 percent growth in 2019.
The industry sector covers mining and quarrying; manufacturing; construction; and also electricity, gas and water supply. The service sector is comprised of the transport, storage and communication; trade and repair of motor vehicles; financial intermediation; real estate, renting and business activities; public administration and defense; and compulsory social security. While the agriculture sector includes agriculture and forestry and fishing.
For agriculture and fisheries, Lim said there was a notable decrease in its production level in fisheries.
“We need to really capacitate fisher folks and provide them with capital or financing as well as skills development [trainings]. Also in terms of organization such as cooperative organizing and the like,” Lim said.
“For the industry sector, our focus is on manufacturing because we want investments to buoy up our manufacturing sector. Apart from producing fresh or raw products and exporting them in the raw form, we need to process our agri-products,” she added.
Among the different industries, the construction sector’s growth slowed down to 18.1 percent in 2018 from 37 percent in 2017. Lim said there is a need to also focus on the development of the construction sector.
She said Neda-Davao expects major construction projects in Davao Region will be in full swing with the approval of the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA). However, Lim said road right of way (RROW) issues should be resolved immediately so as not to hinder construction projects.
In the service sector, Lim said that there is a need to improve the competitiveness of the human resources as the service sector is based on the skills of human resources.
“All of these would be our best cards, in a manner of speaking, to buoy up our rolled out target,” she said.