HERE IS one very encouraging report for residents of the provinces and cities within the Davao Region or Southern Mindanao.

The Davao Region’s economy grew by 8.1 percent in 2022, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). No less than the PSA’s assistant national statistician, Ms. Vivian R. Ilarina, who was in Davao last week, disclosed the very positive performance of the region’s economy.

Compared to the performance of the regional economy in 2019, which was at 5.9% the 2022 growth figure was almost a three percentage point jump.

It was good to hear that the huge growth is driven, as expected, by the accommodation and food services, transportation and storage, and mining and quarrying business sub-sectors.

For the performance, according to the PSA, Southern Mindanao is recognized as the third fastest-growing economy among the seventeen regions in the country.

It is unsurprising to note that the big jump in the positive performance of the Region’s Gross Domestic Product (RGDP) is driven by the Tourism and related industry sector. After all, the people not just in the Davao Region but in other places of the country were waned for at least three years from doing both domestic and international travels. Hence, when travel restrictions were eased, locals and travelers from other countries came rushing like flood waters in this part of the country, splurging their money with a vengeance after almost three years of being “domesticated” by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We, however, did not expect that the business sectors that posted negative performance were those of electricity, steam, water, and waste management compared to the sectors’ positive output in 2021.

We fully understand if the said sectors did not do well during the pandemic years. For who will, when almost all sectors of economic endeavors were at a standstill during those times? All industries slowed down except health and related product manufacturing services.

However, we are at a loss as to what aspect of the electricity or water industry sector is the negative performance attributed to. Was it on the lack or absence of power generation or water source development investments? Or was it on the substantial reduction in the utilization of either the available electricity or the volume of water unutilized by consumers?

Of course, we are aware that in 2022, despite the depleting number and gravity of CoViD cases in the Region and in the country as well, still, a good number of industries, shops, and small-time establishments failed to open. We can only assume the reason or reasons.     

And suppose the still unopened establishments’ total power and water requirements are to be totaled. In that case, we are certain that it could be a staggering reduction from the two business sectors’ income. Hence, it would also mean a huge loss in the region’s economy.

On the whole, though, what our local government leaders in the region should take a clue from if they are to further aim for a much better economic performance of the Davao Region in the years to come, is the unexpected P53.2 billion excess in peso figure of the region’s economic growth compared to the year immediately prior to the onset of the pandemic.


Late last week, we read a news report on the scheduled opening to the public a segment of the supposed completed portion of the Davao City Coastal Road.

That is another more welcome development long awaited by the city residents.

That is another more welcome development long awaited by the city residents. But it was not yet clear where the to-be-opened segment would start and end.

What we are very certain about is that once vehicles, mostly private, we assume, will be using the opened segment, it would mean a huge depletion in the volume of vehicles currently using the MacArthur National Highway, possibly from Puan up to the downtown stretch of the southbound road.

Unfortunately, since only a segment is to be opened for use, the likelihood is that the vehicles using that portion of the coastal road will re-converge still in the downtown areas. Meaning, there will still be vehicle congestion in the city’s main business district (MBD).

This early, we can already figure out the possible scenarios in the city’s downtown. We can only hope that our traffic managers are already prepared with a scheme to prevent traffic bedlam in the city’s busiest area.

Source: Mindanao Times (