• Bicol economy outruns NCR, notches 7.1% growth

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    LEGAZPI CITY: The Bicol economy is growing faster than that of the National Capital Region—a 7.1-percent growth fuelled by tourism, trade including agriculture based on the study conducted by National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) and of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) here.

    The Bicol region gross domestic product (GDP) notched a 7.1-percent growth rate compared to NCR at 6.8 percent shored up by big influx of visiting tourists and robust trade and commerce, the NSCB and NEDA Bicol reported. Gil Arce, NSCB regional director in a press briefing told reporters that Bicol’s economy grew by 7.1 percent in 2012, nearly four times faster that its pace in 2011.

    “The fast economic growth in the region is fuelled by services which had the biggest share of the region’s economy at 56.0 percent, followed by agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing [AHFF] at 24.4 percent and industry at 19.6 percent,” Arce told reporters.

    AHFF’s share to the region’s economy dropped from 25.4 percent in 2011 to 24.4 percent in 2012.

    He said that services which cover trade and tourism posted the largest contributor to the growth of Bicol region’s economy in 2012 accounting for 3.4 percentage points of the 7.1-percent growth; industry contributed 2.9 percentage points while AHFF posted a 0.7 percentage point.

    Among Bicol’s six provinces, Albay accounted for the biggest economic growth as businessmen according to Engr. Luis Banua, NEDA assistant regional director are very bullish in putting up more investment owing to rosy climate of growth, big number of tourist arrivals and positive economic performance.

    “Hotel and restaurant businesses are booming because of increasing number of tourists. Investors are bullish now because of positive economic performance. We’re expecting very positive economic development in Bicol in the coming years specifically when the Bicol International Airport become operational as many tourists could fly directly here,” Banua said.

    Once the 4th poorest region in the country, Bicol now ranks 7th in pover-ty prevalence.

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