Central Visayas aims to sustain growth through connectivity

Central Visayas on Friday launched its development blueprint that aims to distribute economic growth among its municipalities through connectivity.

Its Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017–2022 said the region would work towards linking major urban centers, key production areas and market centers.

“This will promote economic integration, reduce poverty and increase opportunities for human development across provinces,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement.

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He noted that part of the region’s Spatial Development Strategy is the construction and upgrading of arterial roads, the integration of transportation systems, and the development of secondary and major ports.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has identified infrastructure flagship projects for the region, including the New Cebu International Container Port, New Bohol Airport in Panglao Island, Cebu-Bohol Link Bridge, Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge, Cebu-Negros Link Bridge and the Bohol Northeast Basin Multipurpose Project.

The RDP likewise identified Metro Cebu as the region’s metropolitan center and Metro Tagbilaran (Bohol) as its regional center in its proposed network of urban centers.

Sub-regional centers included Bogo-San Remigio (Cebu), Toledo City-Balamban (Cebu), Metro Dumaguete (Negros Oriental) and Tubigon (Bohol).

NEDA Regional Director Efren Carreon said the region had the highest growth momentum among all regions in the last regional plan period of 2011–2016, with a gross regional domestic product (GRDP) average growth rate of 7.5 percent, higher than the National Capital Region’s.

By 2022, the region aims to reach a GRDP growth rate of 8.3 to 8.8 percent, reduce poverty incidence among families to 17.6 percent, and cut the unemployment rate to 3 to 4 percent.

“For the next six years, Central Visayas will continue to be a major growth center in the country by making the most of our strategic location and diverse sources of growth,” said Carreon.

He identified tourism, information technology, business process outsourcing, manufacturing, and construction as growth drivers of the region. (LDV/PNA)



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