PH infra program seen to boost Bicol economy

By Connie Calipay

May 2, 2018, 7:05 pm

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Duterte administration’s infrastructure program can boost and regain high economic growth rate of the Bicol region, said a local official of economic development and planning agency. 

Agnes Espinas, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Bicol regional director, said Thursday the "Build, Build, Build" program, which includes the Sorsogon-Samar bridges project, can address accessibility, expand markets and build connection with other regions.

"There were more production inputs, assistance in the capacity building for our farmers, irrigation facilities, machineries and equipment -- all these were made possible by the government. We cannot say that government is not doing something to help the economic performance of every region,” she said. 

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the economic performance of the Bicol Region, as measured by the gross regional domestic product, slowed down by 5.1 percent in 2017 compared to the 5.5 percent growth recorded the previous year.

Espinas said the series of natural disasters that hit the Bicol Region last year negatively impacted on its economy.

She believed that the natural calamities as weakness can be transformed into strengths by Bicolanos through building resiliency in the community. (PNA)