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BARMM’s 2018 GRDP 2nd highest in Mindanao

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By Antonio L. Colina IV (MindaNews)

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) – The gross regional domestic product of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) of 7.2% in 2018, the second strongest next to Davao Region’s 8.6%, suggests better economic opportunities for the region under the new governance structure, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) deputy executive director Romeo Montenegro said on last Friday.

“The relatively high economic growth rate demonstrated by the Bangsamoro is an indication of better things to come in the region especially with a new governance structure,” he said.

The successful and peaceful transition from ARMM to BARMM after the ratification of Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARMM) would increase investors’ interest for the region, Montenegro said.

“These are very interesting things to watch out for in the Bangsamoro in the next few years,” he said.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the BARMM’s output, although lower compared with the 7.5% registered in 2017, was the fourth highest in the country. Bicol registered the highest at 8.9% while Caraga the lowest at 3.2%.

Montenegro said Mindanao’s output expanded by 7.1% in 2018, surpassing the national average of 6.2%. Services, agriculture, and industry sectors ramped up Mindanao’s growth, he noted.

He said agriculture performed well in 2018, growing by 2.5% in 2018 from 0.9% in 2017.

“This is what we’ve always been pointing out that every time there is an instance in Mindanao where agriculture is able to demonstrate an uptick rate or growth it generally pushed up Mindanao’s overall economy because remember, 40% of Mindanao’s contributions is related to agriculture, 60% of Mindanao’s GDP is related to agriculture,” he said.

Montenegro acknowledged the need to pour in more infrastructure projects in Caraga to drive the growth of the region.