Western Visayas cited 3rd fastest growing regional economy
Iloilo City (15 March) -- Regional Development Council (RDC) VI Chairperson Antique Governor Salvacion Perez said in her State of the Region Report that Western Visayas continues to be the 3rd fastest growing economy outside of Metro Manila in the last three years.
Perez presided in the RDC VI 1st Quarter Full Council Meeting last March 5, where she discussed the socio-economic state of the region and the accomplishments of the various sector committees.
In a press release issued by NEDA VI, Perez said agriculture remains the main economic activity and source of livelihood in the region, making it the second largest producer of palay next to central Luzon.
Meanwhile, the RDC Chair said the region also takes pride in the over 2,000 home-based, micro-enterprises that have made a name for themselves because of the consistent quality of their products and the strong support of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for its One-Town-One-Product Program.
The varied products which include processed food, fabrics, jewelries, metal, bamboo/wood, shell crafts, furniture and other gift items, contributed to the growth of total exports that increased by 44 percent.
On the other hand, the Arroyo government's Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Program implemented in the region has provided short term employment to 24,241 individuals, while the implementation of blue desk jobs program placed 17,808 graduates in local and overseas jobs.
The opening of 24 call centers and other Business Process Outsourcing companies particularly in highly urbanized cities of Iloilo and Bacolod has taken in 8,492 job seekers in the region.
Through the leadership of Perez, the RDC has initiated projects that positively impacted on environment.
This included the holding of Western Visayas Water Summit in Bacolod City that paved the way for the creation of a regional body to monitor and arbitrate among competitors competing for water resources.
The RDC VI's strong commitment to renewable energy was manifested in the conduct of multi-sectoral dialogues on climate change, energy and development planning and the holding of the Renewable energy summit where seven major investors committed to establish power generating plants using wind, solar, bio-mass, hydro power and others.
The RDC's advocacy on good governance has recognized regional line agencies, state universities and colleges and LGUs that have implemented successful projects, through the Best Public Sector Awards program implemented for the past three years.
Perez said the region can look forward to two big projects coming, the Php4.9 Billion Panay River Flood Control Project in Capiz and the Php712 Million Integrated System Operation Efficiency Improvement Project for Irrigation Facilities damaged by Typhoon Frank, for Antique and Aklan. (NEDA/PIA6/ESS) [top]