THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) yesterday said that the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit, Sinulog Festival and the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) were international events that greatly contributed to Cebu’s economy.
“These are the three major international events that are major contributors to Cebu’s economic growth for the second semester of 2015 and January 2016,” Neda 7 Director Efren Carreon said.
The hotels were fully booked, the transport sector (taxi, bus and jeepney) did well, the service sector raked in huge profits and several other businesses grew, Carreon said.
“Events like this create demand and in the process they also produce more, and in producing more, they hire more people. It’s a chain reaction,” Carreon said.
Carreon said Cebu’s economic growth is consistently higher than the economic growth of the entire country. In 2014, Cebu’s economic growth was 8.8 percent compared to the nation’s 6.1 percent.
For 2015, the full results will be revealed to the public in July 2016.
“However, we are confident that we will still be higher in 2015 than the 5.8 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of the entire country because we grew fast,” Carreon said.
Aside from Apec, Sinulog and IEC, the Neda 7 director also gave credit to the remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ).
The MEZ is like the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) where new or fresh money comes every month.
“Money creates its own demand for housing, transportation, food, drinks, restaurants, clothing and even mobile phones, Carreon said.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan recently announced that GDP grew by 6.3 percent from October to December 2015. The full-year average of 5.8 percent, he told Agence France Presse, was “respectable” considering that agricultural output had contracted after two typhoons and the dry spell caused by El Niño.
Among the sectors of the economy that grew was services, by 7.4 percent from 5.6 percent in the same quarter in 2014.
The tourism department has yet to report the number of arrivals in the second half of 2015, when several APEC meetings took place in Cebu. The recently concluded IEC had around 13,500 registered delegates, some 11 percent of them from other countries.