February 26, 2024

■  Hanna C. Lacsamana

The economy of Baguio City continues to expand as it posted an 11.3 percent growth rate in 2022, the highest in the Cordillera.

Based on the Provincial Product Accounts (PPA) of the region for 2020 to 2022 compiled by the Philippine Statistics Authority-Cordillera, Chief Statistical Specialist Aldrin Bahit, Jr. reported that Baguio’s overall economic performance further grew by 11.3 percent in 2022 from a 10 percent growth in 2020.

The 2022 growth rate of the city represents an increase in its gross value added from P139.28 billion in 2021 to P155.03B in 2022 at constant 2018 prices.

Bahit said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) levels of the city in 2022 already surpassed the pre-pandemic levels of P152.9B in 2019 and Baguio is the only one in the region that made such achievement.

Three major factors have contributed to such performance, namely services which shared 72.9 percent; industry with 26.6 percent; and agriculture, forestry, and fishing (AFF) at 0.6 percent. All three industries recorded growths in 2022.

AFF, which refers to agricultural services or inputs to agricultural production, grew by 4.4 percent, industry expanded by 6.8 percent, and services further accelerated by 13.1 percent, the latter being the fastest.

In terms of growth by industry, all 16 compiled industries also grew in 2022, with the top three being tourism-related.

Transportation and storage posted 63.6 percent growth rate. This industry comprised 2.2 percent share of the total GDP of the city. 

It is followed by accommodation and food services with 50.6 percent, accounting for 7.8 percent share to the city’s total economy and other services with 47.1 percent.

Bahit said the further easing of travel restrictions and the so-called revenge travel phenomenon are believed to be the significant influence in the growth of these industries.

Among the 16 industries, the top three largest industries in the city’s economy are manufacturing with 21.3 percent share followed by wholesale and retail trade with 16.3 percent, and financial and insurance activities with 14.3 percent share.

Collectively, these three industries accounted for more than half of Baguio’s economic activities.

In terms of per capita GDP, the estimated average contribution of each individual to the total GDP was at P420,020, which is 10.05 percent higher compared to 2021’s P380,000.

Compared to other economies in the Cordillera, Baguio has recorded the fastest growth followed by Kalinga 9.3 percent; Abra – 9.2 percent; Mountain Province – 7.8 percent; Ifugao – 6.7 percent; Benguet – 5.1 percent; and Apayao with 2.6 percent.

The city’s economic growth is also higher than the region’s, which grew by 8.7 percent.

The regional economy in 2022 was valued at P337.66B, and nearly half of it or 45.9 percent was contributed by Baguio followed by Benguet at 23.3 percent; Kalinga – 8.0 percent; Ifugao – 7.5 percent; Abra – 7.3 percent; Mountain Province – 4.4 percent; and Apayao – 3.4 percent.

Also, only Baguio, along with Benguet, recorded a positive growth in terms of AFF at 4.4 percent and 2.9 for Benguet, while the region recorded negative 2.1 percent and all other provinces recorded negative growth.

The total share of the Cordillera in AFF was P28.12B in 2022, with Benguet recording the largest share at 44.5 percent while Baguio only accounted for 3.2 percent of the total economic output on AFF.

In terms of growth rate in industry, the region posted seven percent, with Kalinga having the highest growth at 16.2 percent, Abra at 15.6 percent, Baguio at 6.8 percent, Mountain Province at 6.6 percent, Ifugao at 6.3 percent, Apayao at 4.8, and Benguet at 2.4 percent.

However the city contributed the highest, at 49.1 percent, to the region’s total of P83.90B industry output.

In terms of servi-ces, where the region grew by 10.8 percent, Baguio also had the fastest growth at 13.1 percent and shared 50 percent of the total P225.64B worth of outputs in the services sector.

In terms of per capita GDP, the city recorded the highest among other sub-regional economies and also had the highest per capita among all other highly urbanized cities included in the PPA compilation for 2022.

The city’s per capita GDP was P420,020, which is higher by 128.5 percent than the per capita GRDP of the region of P183,830.

The city was also the sole economy in the Cordillera to surpass the regional per capita GDP.

PSA Regional Director Villafe Alibuyog said the PPA is a mechanism to compile the gross domestic product at the regional level complementing the national GDP.

It measures the economic performan-ces of the provinces and highly urbanized cities in real terms or at constant prices, taking away the effect of inflation.

“This is our contribution to the aspirations of our local planners and policymakers to be able to comprehensive picture of the provincial or city economies, by providing them with a more appropriate measure and assessment of the provincial economic performance,” Alibuyog said.

The PPA was launched in 2021 in three regions namely Mimaropa, Central Visayas, and Mindanao, to provide stakeholders with sound indicators for evidence-based policies at the local level. It was piloted in other regions including the Cordillera in 2022.