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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 04, 2012


WVisayas has more workers in agri, forestry

by Elsa S. Subong

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 4 (PIA) –- The decreasing interest in agricultural courses has not dimmed employment opportunities in agriculture, hunting and fishery in the region, said a survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO).

The NSO recently conducted a Regional Data Dissemination Seminar on the 2009 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry before the academe, government institutions and partner establishments in Western Visayas.

NSO-6 Director Norman Julag-ay said the survey showed that of the 1,163 establishments with employment of 20 and over, agriculture, hunting and forestry had the most number of workers with 21,793 or 21 percent.

Julag-ay said real estate, renting and business activities came in second, with 16,304 or 15 percent employees, noted to have outdone other sectors after agriculture, in three years’ time.

The sector having the least number of employees was the social and personal service, with 1,110 or 1 percent.

In the national level, the same survey revealed that a total of 109,940 workers were hired by agriculture, hunting and forestry establishments, engaged in growing of banana, which absorbed almost half or 44,329 workers of the total workforce.

The others were into growing of sugarcane including muscovado sugar making in the farm which had 29,261 workers, while the irrigation systems employed 5,835.

As to revenue generated in the region, real estate, renting and business had the highest generated value added of P21.9 billion with revenue amounted to P2.4 billion, while fishing had the lowest revenue of P313 million with estimated value added of P133 million.

The panel of reactors composed of representatives from the academe, business and government, said they agreed that despite the fact that the region is dependent on an agri-based driven economy, interest in agriculture has diminished.

They said this is also reflected in the decreasing enrollment in agriculture in schools all over the region.

Leah Lara, executive director of the Iloilo Business Club, said the real estate is indeed experiencing a boom, with OFW spending focused on it, but added that the agriculture sector should not be sacrificed because of the extreme conversions of lands into subdivisions.

NSO-Manila Officer Elsie Solidum said the data should serve as a wake-up call to the agriculture development stakeholders in the region to improve on the employment potentials of this sector.(JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

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