We are pleased to inform you that the MIMAROPA Region’s economy grew by 6.2 percent in 2017. This was higher than the 2.6 percent growth recorded in 2016.
This remarkable turnout was attributed to the improvement of all major economic sectors. The economy grew better than our expected target of 3.6 to 4.5 percent for 2017. The high growth rate was achieved despite the challenges we faced last year, particularly the disasters that struck Palawan in the second semester.
Among the 17 regions of the country, MIMAROPA currently ranks 9th in terms of growth rate – climbing 5 places in the 2017 GRDP.
The Services sector remained the biggest contributor to the region’s economy with 47.0 per cent share in 2017. It also recorded the highest growth among major industries of the region – growing at 8.7 percent and surpassing its growth of 7.9 per cent in 2016. Four of its six subsectors registered accelerated growth: other services with 12.5 percent from 8.8 percent in 2016; financial intermediation with 12.1 percent from 9.3 percent in 2016; public administration and defense, compulsory social security with 7.8 percent from 7.1 percent in 2016; and transportation, storage, and communication with 7.3 percent from 7.1 percent in 2016.
This was followed by the industry sector, which grew by 4.8 percent in 2017 from 2.0 percent in 2016. The increase was due to the faster growth of construction to 17.3 percent from 0.5 percent in 2016. Manufacturing also contributed to industry growth with 4.9 percent, though slower than the recorded 8.5 percent growth in 2016. The mining and quarrying subsector, however, contracted by 0.2 percent from 0.6 percent growth in 2016.
We are happy to note that the Agriculture, Hunting, Fishery and Forestry (AHFF) sector, which has been showing dismal performance since 2010, recorded the fastest growth among major industries of the region in 2017 – recovering at 3.0 percent from a decline of 6.8 percent in 2016. The increase was due to the growth of agriculture and forestry subsector. Fishing subsector continued to decline by 1.9 percent. This was, however, an improvement from the 14.8 percent drop in 2016.
Looking ahead, we see the need to expand the capacity of the economy to accommodate increasing growth. We should not lose sight of our vision to be the destination of choice and thus achieve a society that has matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay para sa lahat.
We will continue to optimize the potentials of the region in the areas of tourism and agriculture, which are the major growth drivers of MIMAROPA as specified in the MIMAROPA Regional Development Plan 2017-2022. Development in these areas shall be supported by more and wider roads and bridges, better and modernized port and airport facilities, high speed digital infrastructure, skilled labor and efficient delivery of social services particularly to unserved and vulnerable communities. On one hand, we in the government will also endeavor to encourage more private sector investments particularly in renewable energy projects, manufacturing, tourism facilities and high value crops production.
We know that the region is very prone to natural disasters, particularly typhoons and flooding that disrupt economic activities. We need to come up with critical strategies and innovations in improving disaster resilience to lessen the impact of disasters in the growth of the regional economy. Let us join hands to ensure that communities in small islands are given support and assistance to shield them from the onslaught of natural disasters.
As we go through the medium-term timeframe, we are hopeful that our increasing economic growth coupled with development efforts from both the public and private sectors will ultimately lead to the improvement of lives of MIMAROPAns.
Maraming salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat.