December 5, 2022

Transactions done online including payments using the different e-banking platforms and online transaction accounts gave a boost to the Cordillera’s economy amid the pandemic, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

PSA-Cordillera Director Villafe Alibuyog, during the 2020 economic performance report, said the financial and insurance activities sub-sectors posted an 8.2 percent growth rate, contributing 11.8 percent to the region’s Gross Regional Domestic Product.

She said it is the third biggest share of the total economic output of the Cordillera.

“One contributor is the banking finances and we are now using the transfer of funds electronically, padala (remittance), which contributes under the financial sub-sector,” she said.

The overall growth under the financial sector was pulled up by the banking industry.

She said the record shows there is an increase in transactions in banking institutions with 10.5 percent, while non-bank showed an increase by 8.7 percent, and activities auxiliary to financial intermediation activities increased by 4.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Therese Ethel Jularbal of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas La Union regional office said Cordillera’s banking sector remained strong and resilient.

“Increased deposit and continued banking activities, the higher number of banking offices and automatic teller machines, the transformation of financial services which the pandemic has catalyzed through rapid acceleration also played a role in the solid performance of the sector,” Jularbal said.

As of September 2020, deposits generated in the region were estimated at P138.04 billion, which is higher than the 2019 whole year deposits of P134.44B, she said.

National Economic Development Authority-Cordillera OIC Director Stephanie Christiansen said the potential of digitalization of retail trade and e-commerce has improved, thus the need to boost Internet connectivity.

The linking of product suppliers to retail trade should also be strengthened, Christiansen said.

The NEDA director added those that posted growth show emerging potentials, thus the need for the region to refocus its attention under the new normal. – PNA