VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Is Davao City’s economic growth unprecedented in the country’s history?

President Rodrigo Duterte said his campaign for peace and order led to an “unprecedented” economic expansion in Davao City.

STATEMENT

In a speech before government appointees and Philippine Councilors League officers on March 30, the president said:

At ‘yung namang mga bagay-bagay na, which I believe kaya ko kagaya ng law and order (And among the things which I believe I’m capable of, such as law and order), maybe it’s because I have been the mayor of Davao City for so long, 23 years that’s why I got to learn about the things, about the wherewithals of a peaceful community. At sa bagay na ‘yan, I can only point to Davao City as my… the only thing na ikapag-yabang ko sa inyo. Hindi naman masyadong maganda na talagang terribly, terribly peaceful but hindi naman talaga magulo (And among those things, I can only point to Davao City as my, the only thing that I can brag to you. It’s not that beautiful or terribly, terribly peaceful, but it’s not chaotic either) and it has allowed us to grow to an unprecedented growth rate of 9, which is unheard of in this country. Talagang pumuputok ang Davao at nandoon lahat papunta ang pera (Davao is really booming and all the money flows there).”

(Source: RTVMalacañang, oath taking of appointed officials and Philippine Councilors League officers, watch from 01:23 to 02:34)

Is the president correct in saying that Davao City had a growth rate of 9 percent when he was mayor and is such growth “unprecedented” and “unheard of” in the country?

FACT

No and no.

Economic growth rate is the increase in potential output of a particular economy and by how much. In the Philippines, its indicator per region is the gross regional domestic product (GRDP).

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which publishes GRDP figures annually, defines it as “the aggregate of gross value added (GVA) of all resident producer units in the region.”

The PSA does not provide disaggregated data for GRDP for cities. Duterte must be referring to Davao Region’s economic performance in 2014, which grew 9.3 percent that year, adjusted from 9.4 percent by PSA. (Source: PSA, Bicol Region's economic growth was the fastest in 2015, July 28, 2016)


Hover over the bar graph for details.

Duterte served as Davao City mayor for 22 years and four months until 2016. Davao City is one of the six cities in Davao Region which also has five provinces.

Is Davao Region’s 2014 9.3-percent-growth-rate unprecedented?

No. In the period 2010 to 2015 alone, other regions have posted higher than 9.3-percent growth rate eight times, with the highest posted by Central Visayas in 2010 at 12.9 percent and Zamboanga Peninsula in 2012 at the same rate.

In fact, when Davao Region posted its highest growth rate in the same period, Caraga Region outperformed Davao as the fastest growing region. Central Luzon also matched Davao Region in the same year at 9.3 percent growth rate.

PSA tweaked Caraga’s economic performance to 9.4 percent in the 2015 GDRP from an initial estimate of 7.8 percent. (Source: PSA, Bicol Region's economic growth was the fastest in 2015, July 28, 2016)

Davao Region’s GRDP fell to 7.9 percent the next year due to slower growth in most of its industries. (Source: PSA, Philippine economy posts 5.9 percent growth, July 28, 2016)

BACKSTORY

While the bulk of Davao Region’s economic activity is concentrated in Davao City, the GRDP also accounts for the economic performance of other cities and provinces comprising Davao Region. These cities include Panabo City, Tagum City, Digos City, Mati City and the Island Garden City of Samal. The provinces are Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental and Davao Oriental.

The GRDP includes regional estimates of three major sectors and their subsectors:

· agriculture, fishery and forestry

· industry sector

· mining and quarrying, manufacturing, construction, electricity and water

· service sector

· transport, communication and storage (TCS)

· trade, finance, ownership of dwellings and real estate

· private services

· government services

(Source: PSA Technical Notes)

The industry sector drove the region’s local economy in 2014, growing 14 percent year-on-year from 9.3 percent in the the previous year. The services sector accounted for half of the total output. (Source: PSA, Region XI, Davao Region, Gross Regional Domestic Product by Industrial Origin)

National Economic Development Authority XI Director Maria Lourdes Lim, in a July 2015 MindaNews report, said “the impressive performance” was due to “the collective efforts of the different sectors.”

Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) growth rates at constant 2000 prices

REGION/YEAR

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015


7.6

3.6

6.8

7.1

6.2

5.9

NCR

METRO MANILA

7.4

3.1

7

9.2

5.9

6.6

CAR

CORDILLERA

6.5

1.3

1

5.4

3.3

3.7

I

ILOCOS

6.8

2.4

5.2

6.8

6.4

5

II

CAGAYAN VALLEY

-0.8

5.6

8.1

6.2

7.2

3.7

III

CENTRAL LUZON

10

7.1

6.5

4.4

9.3

5.3

IVA

CALABARZON

11.7

1.7

7.3

6.7

5.1

5.9

IVB

MIMAROPA

-0.3

3.1

4.8

1.3

8.3

1.7

V

BICOL

3.5

1.9

6.9

8.1

4.3

8.4

VI

WESTERN VISAYAS

4.5

6.2

7.7

3.4

5.2

8.3

VII

CENTRAL VISAYAS

12.9

6.8

9.4

7.4

7.8

4.8

VIII

EASTERN VISAYAS

3

2.1

-6.4

4.5

-2.4

3.9

IX

ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA

1.4

0.1

12.9

4.1

6.6

7.2

X

NORTHERN MINDANAO

6.5

5.8

7.2

5.3

7.1

5.5

XI

DAVAO REGION

5.6

3.7

7.4

6.7

9.3

7.9

XII

SOCCSKSARGEN

2.2

5.3

8

8.4

6.2

3.3

XIII

CARAGA

10.7

8.5

10.7

8.1

9.4

4.2

ARMM

MUSLIM MINDANAO

6.7

-0.3

1.1

3.8

3

-0.8

Sources:

PSA, Regional Accounts of the Philippines, Gross Regional Domestic Product, 2013 to 2015

PSA, Regional Accounts of the Philippines, Gross Regional Domestic Product, 2012 to 2014

PSA, Regional Accounts of the Philippines, Gross Regional Domestic Product, 2010 - 2012

PSA, Regional Accounts of the Philippines, Gross Regional Domestic Product, 2010 - 2012

PSA, Bicol Region’s economic growth was the fastest in 2105 , July 28, 2016

PSA, Davao Region’s records the fastest growth in 2014, July 30, 2015




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