Central Visayas Economy Noted As Among The Philippines’ Most Robust

27 February 2013

CEBU CITY, Cebu (PIA) - The economy of Central Visayas continues to be one of the fastest in the country at present, as indicated by its Gross Domestic Regional Product (GDRP) statistical data over the past two years.

The region's GDRP in 2010 was the highest in the country at 12.5 percent while in 2011, it posted a growth of eight percent, according to a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 7 report. These figures were higher than that of the national GDP average at 3.6 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.

Although the National Statistics Coordination Board has yet to release its 2012 country economic report, a top NEDA official in Central Visayas expressed optimism that the region again post positive GDRP growth last year.

NEDA 7 Assistant Regional Director Efren Carreon earlier said that if previous trends are to serve as bases, then Central Visayas' GDRP will again exceed the national average GDP growth of 6.6 percent.

Last year, the country's GDP for the first three quarters or the past nine months grew by 6.6 percent and Carreon said it is very likely that the region posted high growth in 2012 based on Central Visayas' GDRP statistics in the past two years.

Growth in the region was largely driven by the industry sector, particularly in construction at 21.5 percent and the service sector especially real estate, renting and business activities which posted 10.9 percent, the NEDA 7 GDRP report said.

Carreon also said that 17 new foreign business process outsourcing (BPO) firms opened in Cebu, largely in the non-voice sector, according to a report by the Cebu Investment Promotions Center (CIPC), even as existing BPO companies expanded its operations employing more workers in the region.

The CIPC said the BPOs sector in Cebu alone employs an estimated 95,000 workers.

High paying jobs in the BPO sector and steady remittances of overseas Filipino workers have substantially contributed to high purchasing power by consumers, said Carreon.

Also posting positive growth in the region are such sectors as tourism, aviation, shipping and exports, the same NEDA 7 report said.