Romblon seen sustaining economic growth momentum

By Miguel Gil

December 13, 2023, 5:28 pm

ROMBLON, Romblon – The provincial economy is expected to have sustained its growth momentum in 2023, if its performance last year gives any indication, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

In an interview on Wednesday, Jonny Solis, chief statistical specialist at PSA Romblon, said the province has been demonstrating much resilience in the post-pandemic period as proven by an unprecedented leap in its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022.

Solis said industries that slowed to a near halt during the pandemic, such as the hospitality, transportation and construction sectors, continued to recover at a steady pace this year.

He added the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF), which hit Romblon in the fourth quarter of 2023, was quickly contained and is not expected to make a serious dent in the overall performance of the province’s livestock sector.

In its 2022 annual report released on Wednesday, the PSA reported that Rombon’s GDP grew by an impressive 9.8 percent last year from its 2021 level.

The agency said the total amount of the goods and services produced in the province last year grew to PHP29.03 billion.

Romblon had the second highest growth rate among the five provinces in the Mimaropa region last year.

It was second only to Palawan, whose economy is much larger as it has a significantly bigger population.

Solis said the top drivers of Romblon’s economy in 2022 were the accommodation and food services sector, the transportation and storage sector, and the construction sector.

“These sectors really woke up last year after the pandemic slump. During the pandemic, ocean transportation ground to a halt, and hotels and restaurants closed down. There were hardly any construction activities either. This explains the big spike last year (2022),” he told the Philippine News Agency.

Solis said the 9.8 percent GDP surge in 2022 was made possible to a large extent by the subdued baseline the previous year.

In 2021, Romblon only posted 3.4 percent GDP growth because the province was still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, which dealt a serious blow to the provincial economy in 2020, he added. (PNA)