The National Economic and Development Authority Region 6 underscored the economic gains of Western Visayas in its regional socio-economic report that was presented to various stakeholders in a meeting in Iloilo City this week.
Based on the report of the Philippine Statistics Authority, the region posted an economic growth of 6.1 percent in 2018, which is slightly lower compared to the previous year at 8.6 percent. The total gross regional domestic product, pegged at P372.87 billion, is higher by P21.5 billion from the previous year’s P351.38 billion.
In the meeting on July 2, Ro-Ann Bacal, director of NEDA Region 6, told the stakeholders how the regional economy fared in the previous year as it moves forward towards achieving the goals and targets set in the Western Visayas Regional Development Plan.
Moreover, concerns were also brought up during the meeting, such as the need for the government to address unproductive and idle lands in the region to become more productive, Bacal said.
On the lack of funds for the agriculture sector, Bacal said that local government units will receive more funding through the Internal Revenue Allotment starting 2022, citing the Supreme Court’s final ruling on the sourcing of the IRA.
She added that in preparation for these additional funds, LGUs need to be trained and capacitated to be ready for the utilization of funds, particularly for devolved functions related to agriculture and health, and poverty reduction.
Bacal also underscored the need for proper management of the region’s cultural and historical sites, ancestral homes and museums because these are the concrete testimonies of the rich heritage of the region.*
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