TACLOBAN CITY – Massive construction activities in Eastern Visayas have led to a 23.4 percent increase in investments in the region in 2022.
The total investments recorded was P179.06 billion in 2022, up from the P116.40 billion posted in 2021, according to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) on Friday.
NEDA Eastern Visayas Regional Director Meylene Rosales said in an interview that the 2022 performance was also up by 26.3 percent from the 2021 record of negative 2.8 percent.
The bulk of this upswing, according to Rosales, was investments in construction, which grew by 14.5 percent in 2022.
This was attributed to the 41.9 percent growth in the total value of non-residential buildings in the first quarter alone.
“The increase in the construction of commercial, industrial, agricultural, and institutional buildings signals stronger business and investor confidence in the region following the full reopening of our economy,” Rosales added.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) derived the investment data from gross capital formation, which includes capitalization on construction, durable equipment, breeding stocks, and intellectual property products.
In the overall annual economic data, construction also grew at a faster pace of 12.7 percent, a 2.4-point acceleration from 2021, partly due to the reconstruction activities in areas devastated by Typhoon Odette, particularly in Leyte and Southern Leyte, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Rosales said despite gains, the region could not expect a future without difficulties.
With the remaining threat of Covid-19, the combination of sticky inflation, a smaller fiscal space, and imminent threats of natural hazards – Eastern Visayas being a highly vulnerable region – will challenge the current growth in the coming years.
“But our gains today cement the foundation for our development trajectory in the coming years. If sustained, we will attain our short-term RDP growth target of six to seven percent for 2023,” Rosales added.
Earlier, the PSA reported the regional economy posted a 6.8 percent growth in 2022, higher than the previous year’s performance and surpassing the pre-pandemic level.
The performance is higher than the 6 percent growth of the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) recorded in 2021, -7.4 percent in 2020, and its pre-pandemic level of 5.3 percent in 2019.
GRDP measures the value of goods and services produced by a region. The figure for all regions sums up the gross domestic product of a country.