MIMAROPA’s economy accelerated to an 8.6 percent growth, making it the second fastest growing region in 2018. This was the highest growth rate achieved by the region over the last decade.

Among the 17 region of the country, MIMAROPA currently ranks second, together with Davao and next to Bicol, in terms of growth rate.

The industry sector expanded by 11.2 percent in 2018 from 1.6 percent in 2017. The top contributor to growth was construction which grew by 26.1 percent. It was followed by mining and quarrying which rebounded with a 5.7 percent growth from a 5.5 percent decline in the previous year. Meanwhile, manufacturing grew at a faster pace at 7.2 percent while electricity, gas, and water supply grew by 8.6 percent, although slower that the 14.8 percent expansion in 2017.

The services sector, which remained the biggest contributor to the region’s economy with 47.8 percent share in 2018, grew by 9.3 percent from 8.7 percent in 2017. Two of its six sub-industries registered accelerated growths in 2018: public administration and defense with 15.2 percent; and transportation, storage, and communication with 7.5 percent. The rest of the sub-industries grew at slower pace as compared with the previous year: trade and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods at 6.9 percent; financial intermediation, 10.3 percent; and real estate, renting and business activities, 2.7 percent. Meanwhile, other services maintained its growth at 12.5 percent in 2018.

Agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing (AHFF) also grew but on a slower rate of 2.6 percent as compared with the 3.0 percent growth in 2017. The growth was attributed to the 3.1 percent growth in agriculture and forestry coupled with the rebound in fishing at 0.6 percent growth.

During the news conference on the 2018 Report on the Regional Economy of MIMAROPA, OIC Regional Director Susan A. Sumbeling of the NEDA Regional Office in MIMAROPA emphasized that these expansions were achieved due to strong commitment to be the “Destination of Choice” and to improve the lives of MIMAROPAns.

She added that the region will continue to encourage more private sector investments and build proper infrastructure for the efficient delivery of both products and services to its island communities. Moreover, the region will strengthen partnerships toward sustainable tourism to preserve the region’s natural resources and cultural heritage while developing tourism products and destinations. It will also come up with critical strategies and innovations in improving disaster resilience to lessen the impact of disasters in the growth of the regional economy.

Dir. Sumbeling said that although the region experienced economic growth, this should be inclusive. She emphasized that poverty eradication should be at the core of development. And for poverty eradication efforts to have greater impact, there is a need to build an enabling environment for shared action among local government and stakeholders. Lastly, she encouraged the private sector and every MIMAROPAn to contribute to the attainment of a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay para sa lahat.