TUGUEGARAO CITY, PHILIPPINES– Cagayan Valley economy grew by 3.3 percent last year but landed on the third slowest growing regions in the country in 2016, according to the latest report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The agency has attributed the slower growth to the slowdown of the Services sector and the decline in the Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fisheries (AHFF) sector. PSA regional director Marilyn Estrada said Services continued to account for the largest share of the region’s economy last year among the three major economic industries.
In 2015, Cagayan Valley recorded a growth rate of 4.1 percent.
“Services contributed to the 51 percent of the total domestic production in 2016 and is higher than its 50. 3 percent performance in 2015,”Estrada said during the 2016 report on the regional economy of Cagayan Valley held here today.
However, while services continued to be the biggest contributor to the growth followed by industry sector, AHFF pulled down the region’s growth by 1.1 percent.
The PSA report prompted participants to question the economic identity of the region as to whether it will be promoted as Service region or as basically an agricultural region. Ferdinand Tumaliuan, who represented NEDA Director Maria Darauay, said the region is still an agricultural region because of its position as the top producer of corn and rice.
“The prolonged drought during the first quarter of 2016 plus the devastation caused by typhoon Lawin virtually slowed down production of the sector,” he said. He added that Services will be strengthened and the region will remain as basically agricultural region, value adding it with tourism.
The media, in a news conference, suggested that the performance of the local chief executives should likewise form part of the report as all development efforts emanates from.
“How can the region attain a faster development if some of the elected officials are at war with each other? That affects progress,” a representative of the Northern Forum asked. The representative cited the case of Cagayan where both the Executive and the Legislative branches are at present on a word war which resulted in a stalemate on the 2017 provincial budget.
National Statistician Wilma Guillen of PSA Manila said local chief executives are under the sub-sector public administration and Defense of the Service sector which posted a 5.5 percent growth rate last year as compared to only 1.3 percent the previous year.
“We can’t quantify the personal performance of politicians but we may soon consider that,” Guillen said.
The Cordillera Autonomous Region posted the slowest growth last year at 2.1 percent, followed by Caraga region at 2.3 percent. Cagayan Valley landed on the poor third slot at 3.3 percent. PSA clarified that despite these growth performances, all regions in the country posted a positive growth.
The fastest growing economy in the country today is Eastern Visayas at 12.4 percent acceleration. Nearby Ilocos region, the unofficial sister region of Cagayan Valley, posted an acceleration of 8.4 and landed on the fourth spot of the country’s most progressive regional economies. Benjie De Yro/Northernforum.net