MY TWO CENTS’: What makes the Davao Economy tick?

My Two Cents by John Tria
My Two Cents by John Tria

The abundant table of fruits greets the visitor to the Davao region, and signifies the richness of its potentials.

The DAVAO region, which enconpasses the 5 Davao provinces and Davao City has been growing at a strong pace well above the country’s 6% growth over the last six years.

 The 8.6% growth it clocked in 2018 shows consistency that has gotten many investors interested in its potentials. True enough, its growth is higher than many Southeast asian countries.

Apart from growth, the other numbers likewise provoke interest: a population of almost 6 million, about as large as Sweden, with unemployment at about 4% for Davao, lower than the country’s 5.3%.

These among other figures indicate robust growth unaffacted by political noise in Metro Manila. Visible signs include continuous construction activities and a boom in inbound flights from various Philippine and international destinations. In the past year, it welcomed direct flights from Doha, Hongkong and Fujian.

Many have asked why such is the case when its location in Mindanao is supposed to deter investment due to the perception of violence snd instability it evokes.

Three reasons come to mind.

For one, consistent high growth gives confidence to investors that their investments can generate good returns. After all, the large number of employed individuals constitute a big market for consumer goods.

Second, the consistent implementation of rules by the local government creates a more level playing field that gives confidence to investors. This has attracted investments through the years,and created a business environment that has largely been a proactive partner of the city in keeping the business sector attractive to new entrants. 

Visiting business groups note the strong relationship and synergy between the city government and business groups led by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This has encouraged many of them to set up shop in the city.

Third, tough law enforcement has made Davao safe despite the stubborn perception of Mindanao as a violent, poor area of the country. The once virulent threat of insurgency has since abated, with few major rebel activities over the last two years.

These three factors are but some of the many reasons for a vibrant, constantly humming economy. In the end, a strong economy is boosted further with the warmth, passion and creativity of the people.