Since, it is Kadayawan Festival – a time for thanksgiving, let’s celebrate the bountiful harvest of Davao from last year. Economic statistics for 2007 are yet to be available come this 2008. Anyway, here’s how Davao performed economically for the whole year of 2006.
Davao City’s economic performance last year (2006) could be described in two words: very encouraging. At least, that was the assessment of City Administrator Wendel Avisado especially in the areas of economy; peace and order; social and economic services; environment and infrastructure.
Avisado said Davao City has seen a robust growth in the economy given the P1.5 billion worth of new investments monitored by the Davao City Investments and Promotion Center (DCIPC). The figure is a 13.3 percent improvement compared to the P1.2 billion pesos investments in 2005. The investments produced 2,312 direct and indirect, which is actually a drop of 6.3 percent from the jobs generated last year. Avisado called as a welcome development the entry of multinational companies particularly Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) that has “worldwide network” seen to become very beneficial for transactions made abroad. “Its initial coming will service (members) of the business community who have connections abroad. But we now see more businesses excited of opening up their branches here because it is easier for them to transact businesses abroad. It is very useful especially for the expats,” he said.
Avisado added the economic growth was also spurred with the prudent disbursement of loaned money from the Land Bank of the Philippines. He said a bulk of the amount was utilized for infrastructure developments and provision of livelihood opportunities. “We have seen a combination of peace and order taking place. The city mayor aims to continue the strategy for 2007,” he said. He said peace and order paired with development are “indispensable ingredients for the city’s continued progress.”
He also cited the Davaoeños’ unity and oneness as another element of the improvement adding that the initiative of “reaching out” and “going out of their way” to help others has been very evident. “It is also because of our continuing reverence to God, acknowledging nothing can be done without Him. God will always be the center of our plans,” he added.
The executive summary, which the city government prepared for its accomplishments for the year, highlighted Project 911 as the most laudable. Averaging 98 calls per day or 32,319 calls for the whole year, the 911 office was able to achieve a 72.13 percent response. The responses covered law enforcement incidents and medical emergencies. The central emergency response system also recorded 1,594 crimes from January to November of which 1,327 were solved or a crime solution efficiency rate of 83.25 percent.
For the social services delivery, the city government boasts of the P38.75 million funding disbursed through Lingap Para sa Mahirap that benefited 40,920 indigents. The Crisis Intervention Program which is accessed when disasters strike were able to assist 874 families that has 5,238 dependents. Other programs include the Anti-Rabies Campaign, Anti-Smoking Campaign, Dengue and Malaria Control Program, Reproductive Health, Chidlren and Family Welfare, Civil Registry, Shelter, Madrasah Program and Special Education Fund.
In economic enterprises, the city noted improvements in registration of business establishments and employment services except for tourism.
In agriculture, the city government was able to assist 14,827 farmers from the technical assistance on agricultural production and 18, 725 farmers through the distribution of various quality planting materials were distributed. It also distributed 980 female carabaos, cattle, and swines from January to March 2006. The agriculture industry in the city mostly comprise of banana plantations. Agriculture, on the other hand, does not have a comparative data which makes it hard to determine whether there is an improvement or decrease.
The employment services referred 15,955 job seekers compared to only 7, 324 last year. Of the referred applicants, 75 percent were hired. The business registration recorded 7.69 percent increase this year with 31, 609 business permits issued from only 29,352 registrations in 2005.
Despite the holding of the 25th Asean Tourism Forum here, it was not able to pull the tourism revenues for the city. The tourism income only reached P5.4 billion or a decrease of 8 percent from the P5.9 billion income last year. The tourist arrivals from January to November of 2006 only reached 388,013 or a decrease of 6.42 percent of 2005 which has 413, 033.
The business bureau, meanwhile, processed 30,200 applications for new businesses and renewals and approved and issued 8,102 building permits and issued 2,270 certificates of occupancy.
The City Treasurer’s Office was able to assess 13,756 real property units which has a total assessment of P1.88 billion. The economic enterprises plus other sources of local taxes were able to produce P1.03 billion or an increase of 39 percent than the P740.9 million collection last year.
Ecology, too The city government considers the implementation of the solid waste management act and the use of compact trucks and imported garbage bins as one of the highlights in environmental protection. It collected 332,579 cubic meters of solid waste as of November since it started in August. The memorandum of understanding entered between the city government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in co-managing the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed Area and the Tagurano Ravine were also noted among their accomplishment along with completion of the Davao City Watersheds Terrain Analysis.
The infrastructure projects which were implemented totaled to 649 worth P164.18 million. Only 627 projects were completed amounting to P157.25 million. The city government also had three joint projects with Department of Agrarian and Reform and Asian Development Bank. Four infrastructure projects were also funded by Davao Integrated Development Program while 11 bridge projects were endorsed and included under the President’s Bridge Program. It also lined-up the status of Land Bank loan-funded projects amounting to P 990 million.
Onward this 2007, Avisado said the city government intends to add more lines and equipment to 911 in the near future including the K-9 dogs while manpower will also be increased in order to cope up with the 24-hour response service. “There is the possibility of using the government owned property in S.I.R. (near the Traffic Management Center) to be the base of fire trucks so that they don’t have to come from very busy streets and intersection in responding,” he said. “We are flexing all our muscles. You can just imagine the people working on the 19 different components,” he said.
He said the city government is also fast-tracking the drainage program vital in stopping floods in that has submerged main thoroughfares and subdivisions here during rainy seasons. He said the has pushed through with the acquisition of garbage bins. Avisado the regular programs on infrastructure development will continue especially the school building project. He said Davao City has still a lot to improve on infrastructure which is the primary reason it could not hold international events. Avisado said the 2007 Advertising Congress was supposed to be held here but due to lack of facilities it was given back to Cebu. “We don’t have Waterfront Lahug or Cebu Convention Center. If we have enough facilities that is the time we are ready to host and prepare,” he said adding that they city is slowly moving towards that since “everything has its time.”
He said they will also maximize collection to taxes by gradually computerizing the business bureau and the City Treasurer’s Office.
Information from MindanaoTimes Online