Bicol Region’s Economy Expanded the Fastest by 8.9 Percent in 2018


NEDA Bicol Dir. Agnes E. Tolentino presents statement on the Bicol Economy during the News Conference on the 2018 Economy of the Bicol Region on April 25, 2019

After two years of slower growth, Bicol’s economy, as measured by the gross regional domestic product (GRDP), grew the fastest among the 17 regions in the country in 2018. Bicol hit a solid 8.9 percent growth rate from 5.0 percent in 2017, and remains within the target set under the Regional Development Plan for 2017 to 2022. All the three major economic sectors: Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing (AHFF) Industry, and Services, recorded positive growth rates.

Industry sector recorded the fastest growth of 14.2 percent from 3.5 percent in 2017. The faster growth of the industry sector was attributed to construction, and mining and quarrying which grew by 21.7 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively. The robust growth in construction was supported by the Build Build Build Program of the government and the Tourism Road Infrastructure Program of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Tourism where 37 projects were started in 2018 with PhP2.39 Billion investments. Mining and Quarrying was backed by the production of non-metallic minerals valued at PhP15 B, and metallic minerals valued at PhP14 B. Manufacturing moderately grew by 1.2 percentage points. Electricity, gas and water supply rebounded from a contraction of negative 3 to 1.9 percent in 2018.

The service sector grew from 6.4 percent in 2017 to 8.8 percent. This includes transportation and communication, trade, financial intermediation, real estate and business services, public administration, and other services including tourism services. Other services and public administration grew the fastest among these subsectors at 17.1 percent and 14.0 percent, respectively. Education was the major contributor of growth to Other services. The increase in personal services with the implementation of the 3rd tranche of the salary standardization law and the filling up of government positions contributed to the growth in public administration sector.

The AHFF expanded by 3.2 percent from 2.6 percent in 2017, with both agriculture and forestry, and fishing recording positive growth rates of 3.2 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.

In terms of share to GRDP, the services sector contributed largely to the Bicol economy with a share of 57.5 percent, followed by the industry sector (23.9 percent) and AHFF (18.6 percent). The gross value added (at constant 2000 prices) of GRDP amounted to PhP 187.60 Billion from PhP 172.25 Billion in 2017.

With these developments, Bicol Region will move forward in 2019 with even stronger determination to accelerate growth to hit the target range of 9.1 to 9.6 percent. The government sector remains committed to making this growth inclusive in collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders. NEDA Bicol hopes that every Bicolano will be one in effort to translate this growth into a matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay para sa lahat.