INFORMATION BLITZ: Paalala sa mga OFW-members ng PhilHealth: Ang PhilHealth membership and contribution ay MANDATORY ayon sa batas kaya magpamiyembro at magbayad ng kontribusyon bago umalis ng bansa. Seguraduhin ang proteksyon ng kalusugan ng iyong sarili at pamilya.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Zambo economy vibrant despite El Nino, power outages - PSA

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY – In spite of the El Nino phenomenon and sporadic power outages since last year, the economy in the city and in the region has been vibrant, and gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth rate is steadily increasing for the past three years, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported last week.

Mewchun Pamaran, PSA regional director shared that the GRDP for 2015 was Php157-billion, compared to 2014’s Php146-billion. “For the last three years, there has been an upward trend.”

She explained that although the fishing and agricultural sector were affected by El Nino or the dry spell, the economy was saved by the construction and manufacturing sectors.

Zamboanga City was found out to be the biggest contributor to the GRDP, due to the presence of the sardine industry here. But more than that, the recent sprouting of new malls and commercial centers have contributed to the increase in GRDP, as well as provided new jobs to locals.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Teresita Socorro Ramos, said “employment improved very much”, adding that for 2015, it has registered 96 percent growth.

“Investments also grew, amounting to over 1-billion pesos, more than our targets,” Ramos said.

The vibrant economy, said Ramos cannot be equated to poverty reduction, but “indeed it is a big factor that contributes to poverty reduction.”

Meanwhile, Ramos called on other LGUs to replicate the economic vibrance of Zamboanga City, warning of the dangers if ever Zamboanga City “asks for autonomy.” Ramos said “at present, the RGDP is largely dependent on the economy of the city, and if this is replicated in the other cities and towns, the regional economy will even be stronger.”

“Our challenge,” said Ramos “is to have a Zamboanga City in other areas of the region.”

In 2015, Zamboanga City has been beset with numerous problems such as very slow internet connectivity, sporadic power outages, and surge in population. Yet, according to the PSA, as the figures show, there has been no significant impact to the economic growth here.

“If now we have these problems and still experience a good economy, what more if we have better services,” said Ramos.