TARLAC: The Central Luzon (CL) region posted its highest economic growth rate in six years (2011-2016) at 9.5 percent, even surpassing the national economy’s 6.9 percent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
PSA regional director Edgardo Pare, during a recent media conference on the gross regional domestic products, said the region’s GRDP was pegged at P773.28 billion in 2016, approximately P67 billion more than its P706.34 billion economic output in 2015.
“This expansion which contributed to the country’s growth is primarily driven by the manufacturing industry, particularly from the manufacture of food, beverage, and other transport equipment,” he pointed out.
The GRDP measures the economic performance of a region in terms of goods and services produced, specifically the relative contribution of the three major economic industries namely agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing (AHFF); industry; and services.
Pare noted that the increase in the GRDP’s nominal value is almost double compared to its growth rate last year at 5.3 percent by significant revenue increase from the said industries.
“Industry doubled from 7.1 percent in 2015 to 16.0 percent in 2016 while AHFF maintained its 0.6 percent growth rate for two consecutive years,” he said.
Manufacturing, which accounted for the biggest share in the industry sector, also posted a double-digit increase from 7 percent in 2015 to 17.4 percent last year.
In the services sector, Central Luzon posted a growth of 5.9 percent as four of its sub-industries posted expansions for the said year. These include financial intermediation, 6.5percent; public administration, defense, and compulsory social services, 5.8percent; trade and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods, 5.4 percent; and other services, 8.1 percent.
For AHFF, agriculture and forestry accelerated from 0.8 to 0.9 point with a slight drop of 0.1 percent for the same period in the fishing industry.
“The good news is that for 2016, Central Luzon overtakes Calabarzon [Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and Rizal] in terms of economic growth rate and ranked second among the seventeen regions in terms of GRDP. At the same time, it remained among the top three regions nationwide in terms of regional shares to the national economy,” Pare added.
In spite these achievements, however, Pare stressed there is still a need to provide a more disaggregated data that will be used by national government agencies and non-government organizations working towards poverty reduction for a more inclusive growth.
The region is home to two major economic zones in the country – Subic and Clark – which primarily contribute to its economic stability.