By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — According to the latest report of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Cordillera, agriculture is no longer the biggest employment in the region.
NEDA Cordillera Director Milagros Rimando reported during the kick off press conference of Cordillera month last June 29 said that despite bouncing from a negative performance in 2016, employment in the agriculture industry has declined this 2017.
NEDA data showed that the agriculture industry grew contributing 5.1% in the 2017 gross regional domestic product (GRDP) recovering from a negative 4.5% in 2016. But employment in the agriculture sector dropped from 334,000 people in 2016 to 304,000 in 2017.
Rimando said that because income in the agriculture industry is low many farmers seek employment in urban areas. She also said that agriculture is not appealing to the youth.
“There is really a need to develop the agriculture industry, to mechanize it and make it more competitive,” Rimando said.
NEDA data showed that there was a decrease in employment in the mining and quarrying, manufacturing, utilities and construction industries. The 108,000 people employed in these industries in 2016 dropped to 87,000 in 2017.
Rimando said the service industry recorded an increase in employment, from 322,000 in 2016 to 354,000 in 2017.
Rimando added that overall there was an increase in the emploment rate in the region by 0.2% from 2016 to 2017. She added that the unemployment dropped from 4.5% in 2016 to 4.3% in 2017 while underemployment also dropped from 23% to 14.8%.
Rimando also announced that the Cordillera is the fastest growing economy in the country registering a 12.1% increase in 2017 with a gross regional output reaching P153.41 billion. She said that the largest contributor to this growth is the industry sector with P80 billion followed by the services sector with P60.7 billion and the agriculture sector with P12.7 billion.
NEDA data showed that the industry sector has recovered from a negative 0.3 performance in 2016.
Rimando said that the largest contributor to the industry contribution to the GRDP is the manufacturing industry with P66.3 billion. She said that the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) was the main contributor to the growth in the manufacturing sector.
NEDA data showed that the other industries that include the construction sector and utilities sector grew. The mining and quarrying sector, however, registered a negative 2.9% growth rate in 2017. # nordis.net