CV to ‘lose 14%’ of regional GDP due to NIR

Central Visayas.
Central Visayas.(SunStar Graphics)

WITH the creation of Negros Island Region (NIR), the Central Visayas is set to lose an estimated 14 percent of its annual economy as the provinces of Negros Oriental and Siquijor split from the region, an official of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 7 said on Thursday, June 13, 2024.

PSA 7 Supervising Statistics Specialist Felixberto Sato Jr. said that Negros Oriental and Siquijor contributed P179 billion to the regional Gross Regional Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022.

That year, Central Visayas contributed P1.38 trillion to the national GDP, which is the monetary measure of the market value of all final goods and services produced during a specific time period.

On Thursday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed into law Republic Act 12000, or An Act Establishing the Negros Island Region.

The new law created a new region composed of the Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, and the province of Siquijor. It separates both Negros Oriental and Siquijor from Central Visayas, and Negros Occidental with Bacolod City from Western Visayas.

Cebu and Bohol are the provinces left in Central Visayas, while Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras and Iloilo are the ones left in Western Visayas.

Still OK

Despite the recreation of NIR, Sato said the change will not significantly affect Central Visayas’ economy.

“So, if we deduct this (P179 billion) from the P1.38 trillion, Central Visayas would still have P1.2 trillion. Trillionaire gihapon (Still, a trillionaire),” Sato said.

According to the PSA 7, Negros Oriental contributed 12.9 percent, while Siquijor added 0.9 percent to Central Visayas’ economy in 2022, which Sato said was equivalent to P179 billion.

The province of Cebu shared 30.1 percent; Cebu City, 22.4 percent; Bohol Province, 13.3 percent; Lapu-Lapu City, 11.8 percent; and Mandaue City, 8.5 percent.

“We still have here (in Cebu) the manufacturing industry,” Sato said.

The services industry dominated Negros Oriental’s economy at 71.3 percent; followed by Agriculture, forestry, and fishing with 15 percent; and last, the industrial sector with 13.7 percent, combining into a P166.46 billion industry for the region in 2022.

The province of Siquijor contributed P12.02 billion to the Central Visayas economy in 2022. The services industry was the biggest contributor, at 72.2 percent. It was followed by the industrial sector with 14.6 percent, and agriculture, forestry, and fishing at 13.1 percent.

The new NIR law will take effect days after the law’s publication in a newspaper of general circulation or in the Official Gazette.

In May 2015, the NIR was established through Executive Order 183 issued by then-President Benigno Aquino III. However, the NIR was composed only of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.

Aquino’s successor, President Rodrigo Duterte, abolished it in 2017 through Executive Order 38, citing the need to sufficiently allocate funding for priority government programs and projects. / EHP


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