June 17, 2024

■  Jane B. Cadalig 

The Cordillera economy grew to P361.1 billion in 2023 from P337.8B in 2022, making it one of the regions with the fastest-growing economy last year.

This translates to a 6.9 percent growth, which is higher than the national growth rate of 5.5 percent.

Cordillera’s growth rate is the fourth fastest among the regions in the country, with Region 7 at the top posting an economic growth rate of 7.3 percent; Region 6, 7.2 percent; and Region 1,7.1 percent.

In her report during the presentation of the region’s economic performance, Philippine Statistics Authority-Cordillera Director Villafe Alibuyog said the industries with the fastest growth rate last year were accommodation and food service activities, with 31.0 percent, other services with 30.6 percent, and transportation and storage with 25.7 percent.

“The unhampered mobility of the citizens propelled the growth of these industries, which surpassed their pre-pandemic growth levels,” she said.

However, three industries posted contractions in 2023 – mining and quarrying which shrunk by -1.7 percent; agriculture, forestry, and fishing, -1.3 percent; and public administration and defense and compulsory social activities, -0.8 percent.

Alibuyog said the main drivers of the economic growth were accommodation and food service activities, which contributed 1.5 percent to the 6.9 percent followed by wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles with 1.4 percent, and manufacturing with a 0.7 percent contribution.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing; mining and quarrying; and public administration and defense and compulsory social services hampered the expansion of Cordillera’s economy in 2023. These industries’ contribution to the economy was pegged at -0.1 percent, -0.05 percent, and -0.03 percent, respectively.

The region’s economy was dominated by wholesale and retail trade and repair of vehicles and motorcycles with 18.0 percent share, followed by manufacturing with 12.6 percent, and financial and insurance activities sharing 11.7 percent.

“The share of agriculture, fishing, and forestry in the region’s economy has continually declined with the expansion of the other industries, especially the services industry,” Alibuyog said.

While the Cordillera’s economic growth rate is one of the fastest in the country, its contribution to the country’s 5.5 percent growth last year remains one of the least at 0.1 percent.

The region’s economy also accounted for only 1.7 percent of the national gross domestic product.

Alibuyog said the per capita gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of the region was P195,162 in 2023. Per capita GRDP is a measure of how much an individual contributes to the regional economy.

The 2023 per capita GRDP is 6.1 percent higher than the P183,876 per capita GRDP in 2022.

Meanwhile, the per capita household final consumption expenditure (HFCE) in the Cordillera last year was P139,681.

“This means that on the average, an individual member of a household spent P139,681 to purchase consumer goods and services, barter transactions, goods and services in-kind, and goods and services produced and consumed by the same person,” Alibuyog said.

The 2023 per capita HFCE of the region increased by 4.3 percent from P133,960 in 2022.