Region X on the road to recovery, remains largest regional economy in Mindanao

Nov 28, 2011

by Mike Banos

After making great strides during the last decade to become Mindanao’s largest regional economy, Northern Mindanao (Region X) has been showing signs it’s back on track following a hiccup in 2009.

“Region X remains Mindanao’s largest economy with 28.1 percent of the island’s GRDP (at Constant 1985 prices) with the third highest per capita GRDP nationwide,” said Clark Y. Clarete, Knowledge Management Division Chief, National Economic and Development Authority Region 10 (NEDA-X) . “Inflation has been on a downward trend since 12.2% in 2008, to 4.59% in 2009 and down to 3.15% in 2010. Government revenue collections are up 19.05% in the BIR and 15.48% in the Bureau of Customs.”

After rising from 4.4 in 2005 to 7.7 percent in 2007, GRDP growth dropped to 5.2 in 2008 and further to 2.9 percent in 2009, still good enough to make it the 5th fastest growing regional economy in the latter year, he added.

Ayala Land Inc.’s Alegria Hills clubhouse at Bgy. Indahag, Cagayan de Oro City.

Investments monitored by the Department of Trade and Industry rose 44% to PhP 11.914-billion from P8.3-billion in 2009 while exports jumped 79% from US$518.38 in 2009 to US$926.31-million in 2010 thanks mostly to the 179% increase in the export of coconut-based products.

Employment has been stable and as of October 2010, the employment rate stood at 95.81% while underemployment improved from 31.02 in 2009 to 26.05 in 2010 YTD.

Despite the dampening effects of the global financial crisis and the prolonged dry spell during the first quarter, Clarete said a major turnaround is expected following the outstanding performance of the region’s exports, inflow of investment, revenue collections, influx of tourists and expansion of the agriculture sector.

Tourism continues to be one of Region X’s growth drivers with tourist arrivals rising by 41 percent in 2010.

“Industrial activity also increased as manifested in the increase in energy sales even with the long rotating brownouts in the first semester,” Clarete said.

Since Iligan City and Lanao del Norte were integrated back to the region in 2002, Region X became Mindanao’s largest and fastest growing economy in 2008 according to data from the Economic and Social Statistics Office of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

“Based on last year’s performance and good weather during the first quarter of this year, the region is in a position to further improve its previous year’s economic performance,” Clarete said.

However, he added that this would greatly depend on how well the country and the Region X in particular, could take advantage of  opportunities presented by the current situation in Japan, the region’s second largest trading partner.

Construction continues to boom in  Region X as Infrastructure and Services grew 192.68% to P5.473-billion in 2010, accounting for the lion’s share (46%) of investments during the period.

“The volatile situation in the Middle East could also be a factor which could dampen economic growth in 2011,” Clarete said. “But as the rest of the world recovers from the global crisis, the region is expected to ride the tide as the country sees daylight in the year ahead.”

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