ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE. Philippine Statistics Authority-Cordillera (PSA-CAR) Regional Director Villafe Alibuyog on Thursday (April 29, 2021) reported that financial and insurance services, as well as information and communications technology, are the sectors in the region that showed positive growth amid the pandemic. She also noted that online trade transaction accounts gave a boost to the CAR's economy. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot

BAGUIO CITY – Transactions done online including payments using the different e-banking platforms and online transaction accounts gave a boost to the Cordillera Administrative Region’s (CAR) economy amid the pandemic, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-CAR said.

Villafe Alibuyog, regional director of the PSA-CAR, during the 2020 economic performance report on Thursday, said the financial and insurance activities sub-sectors posted an 8.2-percent growth rate contributing 11.8 percent to the region’s Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP).

She said it is the third biggest share of the total economic output of the Cordillera.

“One contributor is the banking finances and we are now using the transfer of funds electronically, "padala" (remittance), it contributes under the financial sub-sector,” she said.

The overall growth under the financial sector was pulled up by the banking industry.

She said the record shows there is an increase in transactions in banking institutions with 10.5 percent, while non-bank showed an increase by 8.7 percent, and activities auxiliary to financial intermediation activities increased by 4.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Therese Ethel Jularbal of the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) La Union regional office, said Cordillera’s banking sector remained strong and resilient.

“Increased deposit and continued banking activities and higher number of banking offices and ATM (automatic teller machine), the transformation of financial services which the pandemic has catalyzed thru rapid acceleration also made a role in the solid performance of the sector,” Jularbal said.

As of September 2020, the deposits generated in the region were estimated at PHP138.04 billion which is higher than the 2019 whole year deposits of PHP134.44 billion, she said.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-CAR OIC- regional director Stephanie Christiansen said the potential of digitalization of retail trade and e-commerce has improved thus the need to boost internet connectivity.

The linking of product suppliers to retail trade should also be strengthened, Christiansen said.

The NEDA director noted those that posted growth show emerging potentials thus the need for the region to refocus its attention under the new normal. (PNA