MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) wants regional governments to set up their own campaigns in promoting their competitive advantage to drive up their respective economies in the aftermath of the pandemic.
In an economic bulletin, DOF chief economist Gil Beltran said all 17 regions recorded economic expansions in 2021, proof that they are rebounding from the pandemic.
However, he said there may be a need for regional governments to put up their investment campaigns to make sure they capture new locators for their pandemic recovery.
The investment campaigns should center on the human and natural capital of regions to attract potential investors to situate their new and expansion projects there. Beltran also told regions to enhance their business procedures to cut their cost of doing business.
“In view of the strong correlation with economic growth, investments should be encouraged by the regions. Regions should set up investment marketing campaigns – focusing on their regions’ attractive features, especially human and natural resources and their infrastructure advantages,” Beltran said.
“Likewise, they need to improve their approval procedures to lower investment costs,” he added.
On the other hand, Beltran reminded regional investors to buy an insurance for their assets as a protection from the risks posed by natural disasters, especially storms.
“An average of 20 typhoons strike the country every year. To speed up the recovery from natural disasters, investors and entrepreneurs may need to look for an appropriate insurance coverage, [with] disaster insurance now available in the market,” Beltran said.
Based on estimates, the Philippines suffered a total of P506.1 billion in damages due to weather extremities between 2010 and 2020. As such, the economy forfeited an average of P48.9 billion, or 0.33 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), annually to natural and man-made hazards brought about by the climate crisis.
Further, the DOF said the country loses as much as 0.5 percent of GDP mainly to storms. In spite of this, the Philippines contributes only around 0.3 percent to the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2021, Southern Tagalog topped all regions in terms of economic growth, with an expansion of 7.6 percent, followed by Bangsamoro and Cordillera’s 7.5 percent rise.
After declining by an all-time low of 9.6 percent in 2020, the economy recovered by 5.7 percent in 2021 with quarantine restrictions lifted and border regulations loosened.