COTABATO CITY(April 26, 2018)–While the growth rate of the Philippines’ gross domestic product slowed at the national level, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has shown an “accelerated” growth rate pegged at 7.3 percent in 2017, a significant leap from the 0.4 percent gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth rate it registered in 2016.
“People used to say this kind of growth was impossible in the ARMM but through our collective efforts in the regional government, together with our civil society partners, we have made it possible,” Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman said during a press conference headlined by the release of the 2017 Report on the Regional Economy of the ARMM on Thursday, April 26.
ARMM Regional Director Razulden Mangelen of the Philippine Statistics Authority notes that the ARMM is a “persistent and predominantly agricultural region.” Out of 17 regions in the Philippines, the ARMM is the only region with a strong agricultural base, as the rest of the country thrives on a predominantly services- and industrial-based regional economies.
“The improved performance of the region’s economy was mainly due to the recovery of the agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing (AHFF) industry,” according to PSA figures.
Meanwhile, Hataman credits the ARMM’s economic growth to institutional reforms. “The ARMM is far from perfect, but the reforms we have institutionalized in the region have been crucial. Our sluggish economy in the past was never about a lack of resources but of political will, which is why we have committed ourselves to making the ARMM bureaucracy work better for the people.”
The AHFF industry posted the highest contribution to the ARMM’s economic growth this year, accounting for 4.3 percentage points out of the 7.3 percent GRDP growth of the region.
Both the agriculture and forestry, and fishing subclass under the AHFF industry registered significant growth, with the agriculture and forestry subclass posting a growth of 8.7% in 2017 from negative 0.9 percent in 2016, and the fishing sector posting a growth of 4.5% from negative 8.7 percent in 2016.
These figures are significant, as farmers and fishermen remain among the poorest of the poor in the Philippines as of 2015, also according to PSA data released last year.
“We are glad to see that our efforts have led not only to unprecedented statistical growth, but to actual growth that is felt by the Bangsamoro,” Hataman said.
The ARMM ranks sixth in terms of economic growth for the year 2017, among the 17 regions of the Philippines.
SOURCE: (Bureau of Public Information)
April 27, 2018 @ 11:30