ZAMBOANGA CITY, Nov 26 (PIA) - Given the pandemic and its effect to the regional economy in Zamboanga Peninsula, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) here believes that there may still be a "positive economic growth" in 2020.
NEDA-9 regional director Phlorita Ridao said "we have around 16,000 establishments that closed from March to May". However, as quarantine measures were eased later on, more and more of these establishments resumed either full or partial operations, she added.
"While there might have been a slowdown, we are hopeful to be able to recover in 2021," she added. Dir. Ridao explained that the main driver may be the agriculture sector, since it was not so much affected by the pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, the region's economy, accounted at Php396.9-billion in 2019 grew by 4.6 percent from 2018's figure of Php379.4-billion, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported recently.
According to the 2019 Report on the Economic Performance of Zamboanga Peninsula, the region's economy has been on steady growth for the past two years prior to the pandemic. In 2018, the region demonstrated a growth rate of 6.3 percent, from Php358.8-billion in 2017 to Php379.4-billion in 2018.
PSA-9 Regional Director Mewchun Pamaran explained the main economic drivers that have had significant growth as compared to 2018's figures are "wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles at 7.0 percent, education at 20.3 percent and financial and insurance activities at 20.3 percent".
Moreover, "household final consumption expenditure accelerated to 7.3 percent in 2019, compared with the 5.8 percent growth during the previous period".
Meanwhile, exports grew 8.3 percent, while imports also grew to 28.7 percent, the report added.
Among the region's industries that exhibited growth include agriculture, forestry and fishing, manufacturing, electricity, steam, water and waste management, accommodation and food services, information and communication, real estate and ownership of dwellings, professional and business services, public administration and defense, compulsory social activities, human health and social work activities. However, those that registered negative growth are mining and quarrying, construction and transportation and storage.
The economic figures for 2020 will be made available in the summer of 2021 yet, said PSA-9 information officer Ric Mark Anthony Garcia. (RVC/DIS/PIA9-ZAMSULTA)