CM Recto Avenue in Cagayan de Oro City - Northern Mindanao's center for commerce and trade
CM Recto Avenue in Cagayan de Oro City - Northern Mindanao's center for commerce and trade

The province of Misamis Oriental led Northern Mindanao in export revenue and helped the region retain its status as the largest economy in Mindanao and third in the country in 2008.

This, despite the 9.69-percent dip in the region’s total exports in 2008 because of the global economic crunch, said National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) director for Northern Mindanao Leon Dacanay Jr.

Misamis Oriental contributed more than half, or 58.94 percent, of Region 10’s total exports. Bukidnon province’s 29.46 percent is a far second.

Twin province Misamis Occidental, however, recorded the biggest export sector loss in 2008—down 81.14 percent. The rest of provinces comprising Northern Mindanao showed modest increases in exports.

Dacanay said oleochemicals—semi-processed coco products—helped the region’s exports sector. As the top dollar earner, oleochemicals cornered 18.88 percent of the region’s total exports last year.

Because of this, Northern Mindanao—mainly an agricultural region—remains resilient despite the global recession’s onslaught.

Data from the Regional Development Council showed that Northern Mindanao’s gross regional domestic product was valued at P67.6 billion, the highest in Mindanao and third in the entire country.

As the country’s economic managers continue to plan and strategize in saving the country from the full brunt of the global recession, which many experts have predicted to be felt by the Philippines beginning the second half of this year, Northern Mindanao’s Dacanay is confident that the region’s export sector will remain resilient and help the sustain the region’s economy.

Instead of closing down, companies in the region have resorted to compressed working hours rather than letting go of workers, he noted.

“Because of the drop in demand, many of the companies have instituted alternative working hour schemes, or compressed working hours, and some opted for scheduled maintenance of  their plants,” he said.

This way, companies in the export sector helped lessen the recession’s impact. They will also not be affected in case of a rebound in the global economy in the near future because they will no longer hire and train personnel because they have retained their work force.

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