CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – NEDA-X Regional Director Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, CESO III highlighted the importance of local economic accounts for evidence-based policy-making during the Regional Data Dissemination Forum on the Provincial Product Accounts (PPA) 2018-2020 of Northern Mindanao on 13 December 2021, this city.
“Now that local economic accounts are available, the next challenge is to properly evaluate and interpret these numbers to develop more informed and responsive economic policies,” said Director Cariño.
The PPA is a breakthrough for economic account statistics due to the rising demand for local-level statistics. These are used for evidence-based planning and policy-making.
Based on the PPA results, local economies generally mirrored the regional growth contraction and slowdown in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seen as brightspots for the region are Bukidnon and Iligan City as both areas logged positive growths buoyed by expansion in agriculture and industry sectors in 2020. In terms of share to the regional economy, Bukidnon Province ranked first among provinces and HUCs, accounting for 27.1 percent of the regional total, followed by Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Occidental with 26.8 and 17 percent shares, respectively.
The positive performance of Bukidnon augurs well for the region as it cements its functional role as Mindanao’s food basket – highlighting the resiliency of the sector against the COVID-19 pandemic as the province continues to meet the food requirements of Region X and other areas in the country.
As recovery efforts continue, better information is crucial in designing measures that will address the health crisis, while steering the region towards social and economic recovery.
“The need for data cannot be overemphasized amid the lingering COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Director Cariño.
She added that Region X local planners and leaders are now better guided in charting their direction and priorities in the next planning period. This includes the updating of local development plans, recalibration of Devolution Transition Plans, and formulation of local policies.
The PPA is also a rich source of sector-level disaggregation that will also enable researchers to conduct novel and seminal studies.
The Regional Statistics Committee, chaired by the NEDA-X, will also sustain statistical capacity building to the provinces in strengthening their statistical systems, and to its stakeholders in helping them understand statistics and technical reports.
“Truly, this accomplishment is one for the books. I hope that in the next years, more sub-regional data will be made available, such as the Labor Force Survey,” said Director Cariño.
Northern Mindanao is one of the three pilot regions nationwide in the compilation of PPA which will now be made available annually.