Central Visayas to lose 14% of economy as NegOr, Siquijor join Negros Island Region

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CEBU CITY, Philippines — Central Visayas is set to lose P179 billion in its economy or an estimated 14 percent as Negros Oriental and Siquijor splits from Region 7 with the creation of Negros Island Region (NIR) which was recently signed into law by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Based on the 2022 Provincial Product Accounts (PPA), Engineer Felixberto Sato Jr., supervising statistical specialist of the Philippine Statistics Authority in Central Visayas (PSA-7), shared with CDN Digital that Negros Oriental has a share 12.9 percent to the region’s economy, Siquijor has 0.9 percent share.

The economy of Central Visayas was valued at P1.38 trillion based on the 2023 Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP).

Adding the incomes of Negros Oriental and Siquijor totals about P179 billion. Even with these provinces separating from Region 7, Sato assured that Central Visayas will still have an economy valued around P1.2 trillion.

‘Still a trillionaire’

“Trillionaire gihapon. Considering that a small chunk of the percentage share for the Province of Negros Oriental and Siquijior (will be taken away) that would somehow be included na on the new created NIR soon,” Sato said.

Sato added that Cebu Province will still be the largest contributor to the region’s income at 30.1 percent based on the 2022 PPA. Cebu City contributes 22.4 percent, Bohol Province 13.3 percent, Lapu-Lapu City 11.8 percent, and Mandaue City 8.5 percent.

The NIR will be composed of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor. At present, Negros Occidental is part of Western Visayas, while Negros Oriental and Siquijor are under Central Visayas.

With the NIR, the Central Visayas will now be composed of Cebu and Bohol; while Western Visayas will be composed of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Iloilo.

In 2023, Western Visayas’ GRDP exceeded P1 trillion for the first time, according to PSA-6 officer-in-charge Nelida Amolar.

The region’s GRDP was P955.1 billion in 2022 and P874.09 billion in 2021.

Negros Occidental was the top contributor to this growth. However, with the NIR, Region 6 might face an economic downturn.

Fastest-growing economy

In 2023, Central Visayas was reported to be the ‘fastest-growing economy’ among all regions in the country.

Western Visayas was the second fastest-growing economy with a 7.2 percent growth, followed by the Ilocos Region with 7.1 percent, then the Cordillera Administrative Region with 6.9 percent, and finally the Davao Region with 6.7 percent.

Upon signing Republic Act No. 12000 which created the country’s 18th region on Thursday, the President assured that the government would play a big part in accelerating the region’s growth.

Moreover, RA No. 12000 is a reconciled version of Senate Bill No. 2507 and House Bill No. 7355 which both proposed the establishment of the Negros Island Region.

“This union is long overdue and makes very practical sense, especially in the Negros Island, where people are located on one island but are governed under separate administrative regions,” the Marcos said in his speech.

“We envision as well the NIR as one of the centers of development in the Visayas, further accelerating socio-economic development for the millions of Negrenses and providing strategic convergence regarding resources, investments, and economic planning,” the President added. | with reports from Jean Mangaluz, Julie M. Aurelio, and Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer.net