COTABATO CITY: The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) posted a remarkable economic growth of 3.6 percent last year compared to 0.3 percent in 2010.
ARMM Bureau of Public Information Executive Director Amir Mawalill said based on the data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the total value of final goods and services produced in the ARMM grew from 1.1 percent in 2012 to 3.6 percent in 2013. The growth is driven by strong performance of the region’s service sector and agriculture.
Mawallil said agriculture, which included hunting, fishing and forestry, accounted for 61.3 percent of ARMM’s economy followed by services with 33.6 percent and the industry sector with 5.1 percent.
He said ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman cited the improved confidence of the people in the regional government. Good governance means that development aid meant for the sectors are actually reaching them and are being used for improvement and growth.
“The growth is attributed to the ongoing reform initiatives, the renewed confidence of investors to the region. Also we believe that the sectors have seen with their own eyes the resources that are being poured into their areas. When they realized this was for real, they continued their efforts with renewed energy and trust that the gains to be had will be theirs,” Hataman said.
Mawallil emphasized that the regional economy only managed a dismal recovery of 1.1 percent growth from an all-time low of negative 0.3 percent when Hataman took office in 2011. In a period of over a year, the region was brought back on track after series of bureaucratic and leadership reforms introduced by his administration.
It can be recalled that in 2013, the region’s agriculture rebounded from negative 1.1 percent a year before to 2.5 percent, buoyed by increased production of major crops like palay, coconut, cassava and other crops and in the production of tilapia, milkfish, tiger prawn, skipjack and yellow fin tuna.
He said that service sector in ARMM accelerated to 6.6 percent in 2013 from 5.9 percent in 2012 as three of its subsectors posted faster growths. Financial Intermediation grew from 10.7 percent to 18.5 percent while Trade and Repair expanded from 4.0 percent to 5.7 percent. Public Administration and Defense (PAD) also grew from 5.5 percent in 2012 to 5.9 percent in 2013.
Accelerated growths were observed in mining and quarrying from 2.3 percent to 2.6 percent, manufacturing from 3.0 percent to 3.9 percent and construction from negative 3.1 percent to 1.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Hataman said he is expecting a better economic performance this year given the record-breaking investments in the region. This year, investments rose to 72 percent compared to the first half of 2013. The renewable energy sector posted the largest gains.
Three biomass projects worth P1.773 billion were promised to be constructed in Maguindanao. These will contribute 18-plus megawatts to the Mindanao grid.
“We target to hit the P5-billion mark in investments by year end,” he said.
“The regional government has also invested heavily on infrastructure projects that included the construction of concrete roads, ports and other public facilities,” Mawallil further said.