Brighter Bicol economy looms--BSP

LEGAZPI CITY— Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) Monetary Board Member Bruce J. Tolentino expressed optimism on the prospect for economic growth of Bicol region noting that Bicol was cited last year as the fastest growing region in the country, even faster than the national economy.

Tolentino said Bicolanos should keep it this way or even fast track undertakings that will boost the regional economy.

"If the legislative agenda of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte will be ratified now, it's good because it looks like we're going to have a budget passed before the end of the year. If that happens, we can start spending by January-January to March is the best time for construction industry and that will be very good for the economy.

Tolentino further stressed that he is confident that the country's economy, over all, is in good place.

"We should be resilient against the issues that face us internationally and we do hope that these international issued don't get worst- and what we are doing to assure that our economy is much more resilient? Well, we find hope in areas like Bicol that is growing faster than the national economy and that's great!,Tolentino enthused.

Department of Economic Statistics Acting Deputy Director Haydee Paulino, in her presentation on the regional economic development and development indicators of Luzon, showed the remarkable decline of the inflation rate percentage in Bicol from 9.0 percent in August 2018 to 1.4 percent in August 2019.

Paulino said that the economic indicators look good in Bicol as evidenced by the 2018 data that shows the region is continuing to expand by 8.9 percent which was relatively higher than the national growth of 6.2 percent.

"Bicol region also registered the highest economic growth across the region. Similar to the national trend, the Bicol Region presented some of the positive indicators, like the inflation for January to August 2019 is well within the government's target range and the labor statistics improve as both unemployment and underemployment rates are lower on the 3rd quarter of 2019 as compared to the 3rd quarter of 2018," Paulino added.

The presentation also showed that banking indicators also continue to point to a sound financial system as the number of banking offices increased and banks are more efficient in using their deposits for loan activities.

Tolentino challenged the Bicolanos to sustain the economic gains that it has achieved during the past years. (LSMacatangay-PIAV/Camarines Sur)