THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Davao Region reported on April 28, 2022 that Davao Region's economy expanded by 5.9 percent in 2021 from -7.5 percent in 2020.

"[The growth was] Driven mainly by an increase in economic activity, work output, and improved mobility coupled with a proactive management of risks against Covid-19," National Economic and Development Authority (Neda)-Davao Director Ma. Lourdes Lim said during the News Conference on the 2021 Economic Performance of Davao Region at the Acacia Hotel Davao on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

It can be recalled that 2021 was when the vaccination rollout in the region went into full swing. It was also a time when Covid-19 restrictions were slowly being lifted to allow for the resumption of businesses and improved mobility.

Davao Region is also the fourth fastest-growing economy in Mindanao in 2021, at the same time it is the fifth-largest economy in the country.

PSA-Davao reported that industries saw the highest growth among the three major industries in the region with a 9.9-percent growth in 2021 from -14.5 percent in 2020. The sector also accounted for 25.2 percent of the regional economy.

The services sector, which accounts for 58.7 percent of the regional economy, grew by 5.6 percent in 2021 from -6.7 percent in 2020.

However, the agricultural sector recorded a slower growth of 0.8 percent in 2021 from 1.2 percent in 2020.

"The decline is attributed to supply chain disruptions, the lingering impact of the African Swine Fever, the fewer institutional buyers due to consumer health concerns, and unfavorable climatic conditions," Lim said.

After a long pandemic, it is good to see that we are slowly getting back on our feet, evident in how the local economy is performing. Notably, we can see how there are more cars plying the streets of Davao now, more tourism establishments and sites reopening, and setting up of new businesses.

Clearly, data shows that Davao Region is well on track to getting out of the Covid-19 "storm."

"The region is also nearing 2019 or pre-pandemic economic output, clearly indicating that Davao Region is on track to a full economic recovery and is primed to regain its growth momentum this year," Lim said.

We are also seeing green flags recently that could further boost the local economy. We have noted that visits of foreign ambassadors are becoming frequent. We noted how foreign business chambers have linked up with local chambers to conduct roadshows.

There is much optimism about the region's economy. But at the same time, we should remain cautious as factors like Covid-19, climatic conditions, and supply chain disruptions, among others, could hamper the growth of the region.

Hence, it is important for the public and private sectors to continue working together to ensure that the economy of the region continues to grow, and as a result, improve the lives of the residents of Davao Region.