Despite the broad-based expansion in 2012, a power crisis remains a major challenge to regional development in the Philippines, according to the 2012 Report on Regional Economic Developments released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
“Going forward, a major challenge that could hamper regional development, particularly in Mindanao, is the lack of adequate supply of electricity that threatens various economic activities,” the report said.
In terms of agriculture, the BSP report said that the presence of different crop and livestock diseases and infestations in the regions pose risks to the country’s food self-sufficiency and the livelihood of agriculture dependent communities.
In 2012, the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishery sector recorded a 2.7-percent growth, which supported by the 8.1-percent increase in palay (unmilled rice) production.
The report also warned that extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change is a significant issue in the regions, especially those that are heavily reliant on agriculture.
It suggested that improving farm productivity and rebuilding programs due to natural calamities are expected to assist the recovery from the losses and damages inflicted by adverse weather conditions.
Meanwhile, the BSP report also said that the government’s programs on infrastructure would benefit regional development in the country.
“The government’s various infrastructure improvement and development programs across the country are expected to invigorate economic activities and revitalize business in the regions,” it stated.
Furthermore, the report said that tourism will remain a key factor in regional economic activity.
“Tourism-oriented projects including construction of hotels and resorts, improved public security and transportation services, and the vibrant promotion of tourist sites are also expected to further boost the tourism industry across the regions,” it added.
Started in June 2005, the central bank said that the Report on Regional Economic Developments in the Philippines widens the scope of the BSP’s market surveillance, adding a geographic dimension to the economic indicators that it monitors regularly.