At 8.6% the Gross Regional Domestic Product of the Davao region once again surpasses national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018.
This shows that our growth will continue to be robust, following a trend that started in 2014 when we clocked around 9% growth.
It has hovered in or near double digits since, enabling many to say that indeed, the regional economy continues its roll and manages to attract more investment as it moves along.
I have often been asked whether this growth is due to the assumption of President Duterte. The short answer is yes.
In the last three years this has definitely opened doors for many of our local businesses and thus, contributed to the entry of more business into the region, allowing us to reach an all time high of 10.9% growth in 2017.
Manifestations of this growth are clear.
A look at property prices show high growth in prices per square meter.
Another look at many once empty lots show some form of construction activity, creating what many hope is just a short term shortage in skilled labor that will need to be filled with training
This brings us to the reality that our recent unemployment figures in 2017 show an all time low of 3% , which has created shortfalls in available labor.
Thankfully, our agencies and the Davao City Chamber of Commerce has put together training programs to allow us to fill this gap.
This in turn allows more citizens to partake of the growth through employment.
Again, this will create a multiplier effect when more employed people will increase demand for goods and services which also drives the business expansion cycle.
The challenge therefore is for all staekholders in the business sector to maximize the opportunity to take advantage of the opened doors that the Duterte presidency has brought to the Davao regional economy.
Note: The author is a business columnist for Davao based Edge Davao and the Manila Bulletin. He is also Executive Vice President of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry