Friday, 6 March 2009

Northern Mindanao production beats RDC’s 2008 target

Geefe P. Alba
BusinessWorld Online

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Northern Mindanao’s economy contributed over a fourth of Mindanao’s economic output last year, the Regional Development Council’s (RDC) chairman reported yesterday.

"We sustained our robust performance, growing by almost 8% [last year], exceeding the target of 6.2%," said Camiguin Gov. Jurdin Jesus M. Romualdo, concurrent RDC chairman, during the council’s meeting attended by officials of National Government agencies and of local government units.

Mr. Romualdo said drivers of Northern Mindanao’s growth were investments, improved infrastructure, agrarian reform, and tourism development.

"We have observed a shift of production from agriculture to industry and services sectors," he said in his state-of-the-region address. "Share of employment by industry group also followed, wherein the majority of employed persons are now absorbed by the services sector at 45.5%, equivalent to 850,000 workers, while agriculture employed 841,000 persons as of October 2008."

"Despite the recession felt by our top export markets, particularly the US, Japan and Europe, our total exports still increased 35% last year," he added. "This amounted to $889.55 million our top exports remained to be oleochemicals, crude coconut oil, canned pineapples; while we have also recorded tremendous growth in mineral-based products, abaca pulp and fiber and fresh bananas during the period."

Leon M. Dacanay, Jr., National Economic and Development Authority director for Northern Mindanao, said the region’s gross regional domestic product last year was about 28% of the entire island’s total output.

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