ZAMBOANGA City – The upbeat economy here is attributed to primarily the industry sector, with an approximate Php11.78-billion in investments for the year 2014, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in its report on the performance of the regional economy Thursday, July 30.
PSA Regional Director Ronaldo Taghap said that the region has been performing well in terms of the three major sectors – agriculture and forestry, industry and services.
“The country has been hailed as Asia’s bright spot, and the region has been contributory to this,” Taghap said.
PSA data reveals that Region 9 ranks seventh in terms of economic growth. The Davao region ranks first. Moreover, the growth for 2014 is at 7.1 percent, contrary to 6.1 in 2013. Region 9’s contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 2 percent, and ranks ninth in the regional shares.
Meanwhile, National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Regional Director Teresita Socorro Ramos said that “despite the challenges,” referring to the 2013 siege, “Zamboanga was still able to bounce back.”
In the industry sector, the fishing and canning industries are seen as the major players to local economic growth.
However, dependence on this industry alone is not advised.
Ramos recommended for investors and entrepreneurs to explore other areas. “We have many small and medium enterprises here, and we have to develop these as much as the others,” she said.
“We should have fall-back industries,” Ramos emphasized.
On the other end, Taghap pointed out that in spite of all these developments in the local economy, the biggest threat that could pull it down is the peace and order situation. “The peace and security problem is really a big issue that affects the economy,” he said.
“Peace is really the key to sustainable economic growth,” he concluded.pia