DAVAO Region tops all 17 regions of the country in economic growth in 2014, clocking in with 9.4 percent growth rate and the highest per capital Gross Regional Development Product growth of 7.6 percent.

The region accelerated to a 9.4 percent gross domestic product on 2014 from the previous year which only had a 6.7 percent gross domestic product due to the damage done by Typhoon Pablo.

"Indeed, 2014 was a banner year for Davao Region, not only because it has sustained its high growth levels in the past three years, a very crucial prerequisite to inclusive growth, but also because it has surpassed expectations and has already achieved its growth target for 2016." remarked Regional Director Neda 11 Ma. Lourdes D. Lim.

Davao's growth rate is way higher than the national average of 6.1 percent. This high regional performance is the third consecutive year that the region surpassed the growth forecast.

This is also the fourth consecutive year wherein Davao region claimed to still be Mindanao's top economy in terms of GRDP value.

Davao region contributed a 3.9 percent to the Philippines' 6.1 percent which had a value of 3.2 trillion pesos at constant 2000 prices.

The total production of goods and services was valued at 281.5 billion pesos with the services sector contributing 52.2 percent; Industry with 33.4 percent; Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry, and Fishing at 14.4 percent.

The services sector surpassed the target 7.1 percent, it amplified to 8.3 percent. The growth was spurred by the wholesale/retail, financial, intermediation, and real estate subsectors given Davao region's strategic position as the financial trading center of Southern Mindanao.

This huge advantage of Mindanao paved the way to the widening of business enterprise, which increased the demand for real estate, condominiums, and socialized housing as well as demand for office and residential space.

Information and Communications Technology Davao's Business Process Outsourcing remained as one of the region's growth drivers as Davao City ranked first among 37 Philippine outsourcing destinations.

The industry sector grew the fastest in 2014 at 14.6 percent boosted by the manufacturing, mining and quarrying, electricity, gas and water supply subsectors. The growth of industries at 14.6 percent surpassed the Plan's target of 7.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the agriculture sector posted a positive 2.4 percent growth rate from a negative 8.1 percent on 2013 but it still fell short to the 4.0 percent target. The fishing subsector which is the problem area decelerated by 27.9 percent due to lesser harvest as a temporary ban on fishing in the Davao Gulf.

Lim said that the fishing subsector should not be seen as a problem because there was a ban on the gulf for spawning purposes. For the next year, the subsector will surely climb high.

Neda is confident that the region will sustain is performance in the coming years.

Christine Joice C. Cudis