DAVAO CITY — The gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of Davao Region slowed down to seven percent in 2019 from 8.6 percent reported for the entire year of 2018, according to the data released by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA).
Despite the deceleration, the region’s economic performance remained one of the strongest in the Philippines, being the highest in Mindanao and the third highest among the 17 regions in the country after Bicol Region's 7.4 percent and National Capital Region’s 7.2 percent.
Davao Region is composed of the provinces of Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, and the charted City of Davao.
Northern Mindanao and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) grew by 5.9 percent, Caraga Region by five percent, Zamboanga Peninsula by 4.6 percent, and Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City), or Region 12, by 3.5 percent.
Soccsksargen reported the lowest GDP in the country last year.
Last August, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-Davao Region director Maria Lourdes Lim said that GRDP target for the region for the year 2020 has been adjusted to 3.4 percent from the original double digit estimate of 10.5 percent to 12.2 percent due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
Lim said the agency has remained optimistic that the region would still manage to incur a positive growth by the end of this year, owing to the “discipline and resiliency” of the region to adhere to the minimum health standards and to adapt to the “new normal” despite the economic strain on the overall economic output of Davao caused by the pandemic.
She said the agency projected an average growth target of 6 percent for the region until the end of Duterte’s administration in 2022.
“Now, with COVID-19 pandemic, we have to adjust our growth estimates for this region, and based on our analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 since the first quarter of this year 2020, our projection is that we will be growing by 3.4% for this year,” she said in her report at the virtual launch of the Davao Regional Development Plan 2017-2022.
She hoped that the region would manage to continue this momentum despite the crisis that confronted the country, with more investors pouring in fresh investments in the region’s key drivers, including, among others, tourism, real estate, and agriculture.
“If I may point out, we have said earlier that Davao Region has been growing at the double digit rates since 2016 and 2017, and we hit 8.6 percent in 2018. We were the second fastest growing region throughout the country and top 1 regional economy in Mindanao,” she said.