Reflective of the vibrancy of the regional economy Northern Mindanao, improvements in some important economic indicators were noted for the first quarter of 2010.
Exports made a strong rebound with a 115.66 percent growth which more than doubled from only US$92.36 Million to US$199.18 Million brought about by the increases in oleochemicals, canned pineapple products, and sintered ore in Misamis Oriental; crude coconut oil in Lanao del Norte; and sugar and rubber in Bukidnon. Misamis Oriental remained to be the region’s top dollar earner, contributing more than half of the region’s exports.
Internal revenue collection also set a growth of 37% this quarter, compared to the -0.18% slump last year, buoyed by the 61% growth in income tax collection. The Revenue District of Bukidnon posted the highest increase in collections by 51.23% followed by the Revenue District of Cagayan de Oro (40.48%) and Ozamiz (33.55%). Iligan and Gingoog Collection Districts posted 20.85% and 12.87% growth, respectively.
Increases were also noted in shipping and air transport statistics. The number of shipcalls, volume of cargoes and the number of passengers handled in the region’s base ports grew by 0.40%, 17.61%, and 19.29%, respectively. Incoming and outgoing flights, passengers and cargoes passing through Cagayan de Oro’s Lumbia airport posted increases by 38.4%, 19.7% and 104.5%. Air traffic at Ozamiz City’s Labo Airport also grew by 48.5% (flights), 578.9% (passengers) and 162.8% (cargoes). Energy sales also went up by 19.1% with the biggest volume (55.1%) sold to Misamis Oriental, followed by Lanao del Norte (27.3%) and Bukidnon (10.1%).
On the other hand, the early onset of the dry season resulted into declines in production of a number of crops. The region experienced decreases in the volume of palay production by 20.9% and corn production by 8.1%. Overall production of vegetables, fruits and other crops declined by 10%.
Inflow of new investments monitored by the DTI also went down by 6.2%. This , however, was because of the huge investment in the other year in Bukidnon for the construction of Gaisano Mall. The bulk of this quarter’s investments were poured in Lanao del Norte, sharing 37% of the Php958.62 Million invested in the region. Bigger amounts are poured in infrastructure and services (Php382.88 Million) and servicing (Php332.47 Million) sectors.
Meanwhile, prices of basic commodities remained stable as the region’s inflation rate eases to 3.5% from a year ago level of 9.4%. Except for prices in fuel, light and water that posted a double-digit inflation of 11.3% , all the other commodity groups posted single-digit inflation rates. Clothing and miscellaneous registered the lowest inflation rate with 1.4 percent. Prices in fuel, light and water increased from 0.7% between January and February to 1.4% in February and March 2010 while the rest of the commodities continued to ease down. (NEDA-RDC/CAP-TF)