Koronadal City, South Cotabato – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) XII has officially released the Report on the Performance of the Regional Economy of the SOCCSKSARGEN Region for the year 2014, as measured through the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP), during a press conference held on 30 July 2015 at East Asia Royale Hotel, General Santos City.
The highlights of the 2014 GRDP were presented by Atty. Maqtahar L. Manulon, Interim Regional Director of PSA XII. The results showed that the growth of SOCCSKSARGEN Region’s economy decelerated from 8.4 percent in 2013 to 6.4 percent in 2014.
“The deceleration was attributed to the slower growths posted by the Industry and Services sectors,” Director Manulon said.
“The Services sector’s overall performance decelerated from 9.5 percent in 2013 to 7.1 percent in 2014 as four of its six subsectors registered moderate growths, namely, Financial Intermediation, Trade and Repair, Transportation, Storage and Communication, and Other Services,” the PSA official added.
On the other hand, two subsectors of the Services sector, namely, Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities sector, as well as Public Administration and Defense posted higher growths in 2014.
“The Industry sector also reflected a decelerated growth, from 11.6 percent in 2013 to 7.4 percent in 2014 as three of its four subsectors also experienced modest growths, namely, Manufacturing, Construction, and Electricity, Gas & Water Supply,” Dir. Manulon further said.
On the other hand, the Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing (AHFF) sector managed to accelerate from 3.5 percent in 2013 to 4.4 percent in 2014.
According to Director Manulon, SOCCSKSARGEN ranked 8th among the 17 regions in terms of GRDP growth in 2014. Davao Region posted the fastest growth at 9.4 percent, followed by Central Luzon at 9.0 percent, and Central Visayas at the 3rd spot with 8.8 percent. Region VIII was the only region which posted a negative growth of 2.3 percent in 2014.
“But while Region XII’s performance decelerated in 2014, it managed to surpass the national growth rate recorded at 6.1 percent and contributed 2.8 percent to the national GDP in 2014, which is slightly higher than its 2.7 percent share in 2013; it ranked 9th in terms of regional shares to the national economy,” Director Manulon stressed.
In his policy statement on the Implications of the 2014 GRDP on Regional Development delivered during the presscon, NEDA XII Regional Director Arturo G. Valero said “the availability of 2014 GRDP would be very useful to the Regional Development Council (RDC) XII, the highest policy-making body in the region, in reviewing, calibrating and fine tuning the commitments of regional line agencies, local government units and other Region XII-based government instrumentalities to ensure the attainment of the development vision, objectives, and strategic outcomes of the Updated SOCCSKSARGEN Regional Development Plan (RDP), 2013-2016.”
“The GRDP data will not only benefit government economic managers, they are valuable information for everyone,” Director Valero emphasized. “Information on the GRDP is not only valuable if it is growing, but also when it is on a downtrend because it can help government and its partners in the private sector and civil society to strategize and introduce innovations in sectors that have not performed as expected.”
When asked by a media representative as to why poverty is still very evident among the majority of the population in the country despite the positive growths registered by some regions, Director Valero emphasized that “the GRDP only speaks about the overall growth of the economy but it does not speak about the income distribution among the population.”
The presscon, which was initiated by PSA XII, was attended by a total of 52 participants, 20 of whom were from the media, 10 from the regional and provincial offices of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and the rest were from the regional line agencies of Region XII. (Eden F. Ridao, NEDA XII-DRD)