General Santos City – Region XII’s economy grew by 5.2 percent in 2021, a reversal from the 4.4 percent contraction recorded in 2020, and surpassed the pre-pandemic level output (Php 469.9 billion in 2019) at Php 472.5 billion in 2021. SOCCSKSARGEN is among the four regions in the entire country whose output returned to pre-pandemic level.

This positive performance of the region’s economy was presented by NEDA XII Regional Director Teresita Socorro C. Ramos during the 2021 Report on the Economic Performance of SOCCSKSARGEN on 28 April 2022 at Avior Hotel, General Santos City based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority-Regional Office XII

All sectors of the regional economy posted positive growths, with the industry sector having the highest growth rate at 7.4 percent. The service sector, which accounts for the largest share of the region’s GRDP, expanded by 6.7 percent. The main drivers of economic growth were mining and quarrying (27.5%), human health and social work activities (19.5%) and accommodation and food service (13.0%) subsectors.

Meanwhile, the agriculture sector posted the slowest growth at 0.8 percent, attributed to low agricultural productivity. Farming activities in Region XII continues to be challenged by the aging agriculture and fishery sector workers, lack of modern technical knowledge and skills of farmers and fisher folks, high cost of farm inputs, limited access to agriculture related credit facilities, and the adverse impact of climate change. With these problems, NEDA XII Director Teresita Socorro C. Ramos emphasized the need for more support to the agriculture sector through policies and strategies to improve agricultural productivity.

In the final year of the plan period, SOCCSKSARGEN remains committed to the country’s 10-point policy agenda to sustain and accelerate the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while promoting inclusive growth.

“The government’s regional economic team have high hopes that we can sustain our gains to ensure that our region will continue to RISE- revitalize and innovate towards a safe and strong economy”, Director Ramos added. (Ruby Abegail C. Serrano, NEDA XII- PFPD)