DAVAO Region has been on a path of a booming growth that is nothing short of impressive.
Though its economy is largely agricultural, the services and industry sectors have also played a huge part in the region's economic growth.
The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) reported that in 2018, Davao Region’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) posted an 8.6 percent growth. This is much slower than the 10.7 percent growth in 2017.
Despite the slow growth rate in 2018, Neda is optimistic that Davao Region may exceed the 2018 GRDP this 2019.
Neda-Davao Director Maria Lourdes Lim pointed out that the region could possibly surpass its target of 10.5 percent growth this year by improving and further develop subsectors in the agriculture and fisheries, industry, and service sector. The sectors recorded a slower growth in 2018 as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-Davao last April 25, 2019.
Manufacturing sector posted a 6.4 percent growth in 2018, slower than the 11.4 percent growth in 2017. Construction sector posted 18.1 percent growth in 2018, slower than the 37.9 percent in 2017.
In the service sector are the subsectors trade and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods grew by 7.4 percent in 2018, slower than the 8.7 percent growth rate in 2017; and the real estate, renting and business activities posted a 6.4 percent growth rate in 2018, a deceleration from 6.7 percent in 2017.
Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) public relations head Adrian Tamayo pointed out that the economy is still expected to roll up during the third and fourth quarters of this year so the target of 10.5 percent growth in 2019 could possibly be exceeded.
“The buoyed is expected from the construction industry due to the massive implementation of the Build, Build, Build of President Rodrigo Duterte. Likewise, the complementary sectors such as the services and the real estate are growing at an accelerated pace due to the huge expansion of construction demand,” he said.
Lim, however, emphasized that issues on road right of way (RROW) should be resolved first to continue with the implementation of major infrastructure projects.
Tamayo further said tourism industry will also contribute significantly to the growth this year as various events were being held and hosted by the city or the region, an effective method in promoting the area as a meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) destination.
“These big events will mean income for the hotels, restaurants, taxis, and even small and micro enterprises that lend support to the formal service and tourism industries,” he said.
Though the agriculture and fisheries sector recorded a 2.9 percent growth last year, faster than 1.7 percent in 2017, Lim said there is still a need to improve and capacitate the fisher folks through more skills training.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 11 (BFAR 11) agreed and said in the fishing subsector, more projects will be implemented this year which could boost its growth.
BFAR 11 Regional Director Fatma Idris said they will have additional 300 marine cages for Bangus or Milkfish to generate increase of production. Also, a Tuna Conservation and Management Zone will be pushed for more tuna catch from Tuna handliners.
From the private sector, Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, Inc. Executive Director Stephen Antig said in order to surpass the target growth this year, there is a need to really encourage more investments to generate employment which will improve the economy.
“[We need to] produce more goods with higher value add not just inputs to processing. A combination of agro industrial projects will definitely be a plus,” he said.