THE worst fear of economic leaders is finally here.
National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) regional office confirmed that the performance of Region 1 dropped beyond expectations in 2020 due to the impact of the long pandemic.
NEDA Regional Director Nestor Rillon told the Ilocos Region Kapihan Zoom meeting on April 29 hosted by Philippine Information Agency, Region 1, that from a very high sustained growth from 2016 or earlier than 2016 to 2019, Region 1 suddenly dropped to an unprecedented negative 7.7 growth rate last year.
Rillon said it was clearly the result of very low consumer spending brought about by unemployment as well as decreased economic activities.
Ilocos Region is now under the less restrictive Modified General Community Quarantine (MECQ).
“We were 7.3 percent positive growing in 2019 and last year it was -7.7 percent. If it is any consolation, though we are not among the worst performing regions in 2020, we are in the middle of the pack of 17 regions,” Rillon said.
Rillon, however, admitted that while he has not issued an official statement on the issue, he said what he mentioned is already the gist of the economic performance of the region in 2020–7.7 negative growth rate from a high of 7.3 in 2019.”
But Rillon said there is reason to be optimistic about a sudden turnaround of the economy by late this year or early in 2022, citing how much the government has already spent to prop up the economy.
He said with the current efforts in government —local, regional and national—geared towards balancing the economy and COVID-19 response, “we are very hopeful that we are seeing the turnaround if not late this year, in early 2022. (Leonardo Micua)
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