Central Visayas GRDP growth higher than national growth – Cobonpue
CEBU CITY, Philippines–Central Visayas remains among the fastest growing regions in the country, said Regional Development Council (RDC) Chairperson Kenneth Cobonpue.
“Today, Central Visayas is still one of the country’s fastest growing regional economies, with the region being the 4th highest in terms of gross regional domestic product (GRDP) in 2018 recorded at 7.6 percentage,” Cobonpue said during the state of the region’s report which he delivered during the Regional Convergence Workshop on National Plan to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NP-ELCAC) held on Thursday.
The region’s growth is higher than the national growth of 6.2 percent and the 7.4 percent high-end growth target in the Regional Development Plan 2017-2022.
For the past five years, the region posted an annual average GRDP of 6.8 percent.
The main growth drivers for the Central Visayas economy – tourism, construction, manufacturing and the information technology/business process management – opened more economic opportunities in the region.
Tourism spending in 2018 reached P44.2 billion as foreign and local tourists grew by 16.1 percent to 8.099 million.
The IT/BPM sector brought revenues of over P80 billion a year and employment to over 160,000 direct and 500,000 indirect workers.
On the other hand, the construction sector posted 27.8 percent increase between January and September 2018.
The region’s approved investment in 2018 reached P67 billion, higher than the 44.9 billion in 2017.
Cobonpue also noted that region’s unemployment rate during the first few months of 2019 dropped to 5.2 percent from 5.8 percent.
Underemployment also declined to 18.4 percent, from 24.4 percent, he added.
He credited the region’s good performance to the combined efforts of government agencies.
“However, there is still much work to be done. But I am optimistic that with the active participation of the RDC members. There is no doubt that Central Visayas can be a world-class region,” Cobonpue said. /dcb
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