NEDA-CAR Regional Director Susan A. Sumbeling delivers her statement on the improved economic performance of CAR (Top Right) during the news conference in Baguio City on 28 April 2022. The panelists are led by PSA Regional Director Villafe Alibuyog (middle, second row, lower photo) with the representatives from various regional partners.

The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) ranked second in economic growth nationwide together with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The region’s economy, as measured by the gross regional domestic product or GRDP, grew by 7.5 percent in 2021 from the 10.2 percent contraction in 2020. This was reported by Regional Director Villafe Alibuyog of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in a blended news conference on April 28, 2022, in Baguio City.

The industry sector made the fastest rebound with a growth rate of 16.3 percent with notable recovery in construction, manufacturing and mining and quarrying. The services sector also grew at 5.9 percent with remarkable growth in accommodation and food service and health and social work activities.  The agriculture sector contracted at 1.7 percent which could be explained by the low production in forestry and logging, fish and aquatic resources, livestock, and support activities on AFF.

NEDA Regional Director Susan A. Sumbeling, in her statement, said “the region’s growth rate surpassed our target of 6.5 percent in 2021 and 7.0 percent for 2022”. She added that the improved economic performance of the region is attributed to the safe reopening of economic activities in the first semester of 2021, the gradual easing of travel restrictions, and the vaccination efforts of the government.

She further added that “with the new administration, NEDA will spearhead the preparation of the successor Philippine Development Plan and Regional Development Plans and the Regional Investment Programs of the entire country for the next six years that will focus on four thematic areas that we deem critical for the economic rebound we all desire. These are smart infrastructure, innovation, regional equity, and climate change.”

“Let us sustain our economic gains from 2021 keeping in mind the lessons from the pandemic as we continue to build back better in the new and better normal. We continue our concerted recovery efforts while strengthening and sustaining our resilience as one people, one Cordillera.”, she added.

Meanwhile, PSA Regional Director Villafe Alibuyog reported that the region needs to gain 3.6 percent more this 2022 to match the pre-pandemic economic performance in 2019.

The news conference was also attended by representatives from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Benguet Electric Cooperative, Departments of Tourism (DOT), Health (DOH) and Education (DepEd), and the National Telecommunication Commission who gave their statements.