Earthquakes seen to suppress growth in Davao, says Mindanao economist

With the recent earthquakes that hit Davao Region and municipalities and cities in Region 12, a tempered growth of the economy of the region and other areas in Mindanao is expected.

This is the personal assessment of economist Adrian Tamayo, head of the Public Relation Division of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and  former executive director of the University of Mindanao Institute of Popular Opinion (UM-IPO).

However, Tamayo stressed that overall, Mindanao’s growth won’t be largely be affected.

He said increase in purchases is expected for the remaining quarter up to second quarter of next year, which will largely be on food, personal and household consumable items.

Tamayo added that construction items purchase is expected to spike by first quarter of the next year due to rehabilitation and or reconstruction of damaged infrastructures and facilities.

He added that this will signal the industries to return to normal operations.

He said An important element to consider in the rehab and reconstruction is a reliable database which MinDA Secretary Manny Piñol is already establishing to facilitate coordination.

“By next year, the construction sector coupled with food and household consumption sectors are expected to play big roles in shaping regional growth,” Tamayo told Edge Davao.

Tamayo nevertheless emphasized that Davao’s investment climate won’t necessarily be affected. He said Davao City government’s handling of the situation underscores effective governance, which is a necessary ingredient to maintain investor confidence.

“On the economic side, given we are already on the last quarter of the year, using regular business cycle, this is the period of expansion due to expected rise in spending,” he said.

Tamayo said there is the need for regular and close monitoring of prices to immediately address sudden increase in price due to volume purchase and or supply inventory issue.

Furthermore, with the recent series of earthquakes which badly hit South Central Mindanao municipalities, Tamayo also personally see the value of strict observance of the building code and structural standards, and the prudent area zonings and implementation of no-built zones. 

“Preparedness of the people is also crucial to reduce the potential of risk of lives,” Tamayo said while emphasizing on the effective implementation of disaster and risk management  protocols of government agencies such as Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices (DRRMOs) and the Local Government Units (LGUs), which mitigated further damage due to panic and chaos that occurs after disasters. 

“Earthquakes are inevitable, and Mindanaoans will rise above these calamities,  stronger and more united,” he said.

In addition, Tamayo announced that MinDA under the instruction of Secretary Piñol will operate a Command Center in Kidapawan City to properly coordinate and integrate relief efforts and with the use of database will keep tab of the relief operations, amount and volume to ensure equitable and effective aid to all victims of the earthquakes.