WESTERN Visayas has registered a growth rate of 5.9 percent, higher than the national growth rate of 1.1 percent, according to a report of the National Statistical Coordinating Board (NSCB).

NSCB regional chief Presentacion Penpillo said that out of 17 regions in the country, the top five in growth rates are the Bicol Region, Zamboanga Peninsula, Western Visayas, Davao Region and Northern Mindanao.

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Western Visayas is also the highest contributor to the national growth rate and fourth contributor to the regional gross domestic product (GDP) realized in the performance of the agriculture, fishery and forestry (AFF), industry and service sectors.

The AFF subsector posted a sluggish 2.6 performance in 2009 from its 3.9 percent in 2008 while the industry subsector posted 12 percent growth rate in 2009 from its dismal 8.8 percent in 2008. The service subsector also posted 4.1 percent growth rate from its two percent growth in 2008. (Lydia C. Pendon)