QRES (1st Quarter 2013) A QUICK LOOK AT THE ECONOMY Inflation rate reached an average of 3.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013. As a result, prices of commodities increased and the purchasing power of the peso declined by 1.33 percent which in effect, lesser goods and services can be purchased by peso during the quarter compared to the fourth quarter last year. More Bicolanos were employed in January 2013 than January last year while labor force participation rate was reduced to 62.8 percent. Bicol Region has highest underemployment rate among regions of the country. Tourist arrivals achieved significant growth rate of eight percent for 2012. Albay is the leading and fastest growing tourist destination with growth rate of 49 percent. It is followed by Sorsogon with 31 percent growth; Camarines Norte, 23 percent; Masbate, three percent; Catanduanes, 1.04 percent; Camarines Sur, 0.62 percent. Camarines Sur still tops the distribution of tourist arrivals in Bicol. In agriculture and fishery sector, the production of major crops in the region for the first quarter of 2013 has decreased by 21.40 percent due to a drop in production of major crops. Abaca production increased by 38 percent. Commercial fisheries production decreased by 24 percent due to rough seas and cold weather in February of 2013. In terms of investments, 323 million was invested in the region which represents 88.7 percent rise in the total investments. The value of exports has also increased to 79.4 million in the first quarter of 2013. Mineral production in Bicol declined by 1.80 billion. Non-metallic mineral production also decreased due to non-production of shale clay in Albay and very low production of perlite in Camarines Sur. PRICES Inflation rate in the Bicol region noticeably rose to an average of 3.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013. The change in the inflation rate in the current quarter compared to last quarter of 2012 posted 32.43 percent. According to NSCB Region 5, he annual inflation rate in March reached 15-month record high. The rise in consumer prices accelerated to 3.7 percent year-on-year in March 2013. The region's average quarterly Consumer Price Index was placed at 135.3, up by 1.7 point from last quarter's index. Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco commodity group reached the highest index in February and March. The dramatic increase in Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco commodity group is brought by the implementation of Sin Tax Law (R.A. 10351).
Indicator Period Consumer Price (2006=100)
Recreation and Culture
Purchasing Power of the Peso
All items Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Alcoholic Beverages and
Housing, Water, Elect., Gas and Other Fuels Furnishings, HH Eqpt. &
Restaurants and Misc. Goods and Services
The purchasing power of the peso in Bicol Region is 74 centavos which represents a decline of 1.33 percent from last quarterâ€™s 75 centavos. This indicates that there are lesser goods and services that the peso can purchase during the quarter compared to the fourth quarter last year. LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT The results of the January Labor Force Survey revealed that there were more Bicolanos employed in January 2013 than January last year. This translates to an employment rate of 94.2 percent, which improved by 1.07 percent from 93.2 percent in 2012. Less Bicolanos were unemployed in January this year, with unemployment rate slipping to 5.8 percent, 1.0 percentage point lower than the rate recorded in the same period the previous year.
Labor Force (in thou)
LF Participation Rate
The labor force participation rate or the proportion of those in the labor force to the population aged 15 years old and over was placed at an estimated 3.8 million persons. Out of this estimate, 2.4 million persons were in the labor force, or were either employed or unemployed. These resulted in a labor force participation rate of 62.8 percent. The figure means that although there is an increase in the capable working population, there is decreasing number joining the labor force. Underemployment rate, or the proportion of employed persons wanting more hours of work to total employed persons, however, inched up to 35.0 percent, 0.2 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year. Bicol Region continues to post the highest underemployment rate among regions of the country. TOURISM Bicol regionâ€™s tourist arrival posted significant achievement with growth rate of eight percent in 2012. The total tourist arrivals accounted to 3,684,805 in 2012 from 3,413,610 in 2011. Most of this number comprises of domestic 2,911,919 tourists while 772,886 are foreign visitors.
Among the provinces, Albay is the leading and fastest growing tourist destination. It records a 49 percent growth rate of tourist arrivals from 350,629 in 2011 to 532,832 tourist arrivals in 2012. The big influx of tourists in Albay was brought by aggressive campaign and investment on tourism by the Provincial Government of Albay headed by Gov. Joey Salceda. One of the milestones of the province of Albay is being the first local government unit
in the Philippines to be featured in the 2013 Internationale Tourismus-Borse (ITB) – Berlin Fair, the world’s largest travel trade fair at Berlin, Germany. The growth may also be attributed to consistent monthly advertisings, full operation of international standard Oriental Hotel and the Misibis Bay Resort, the successful launching of Cagsawa 2012, and the promotion of virtually all town festivals even for municipalities like Pioduran, Manito and Jovellar. While Albay proved to be the highest performing province in terms of last year’s growth in tourist arrivals, Camarines Sur continues to top the number of tourist arrivals, accounting for almost 2/3 of regional total as in the past year. Camarines Sur and Naga City combined, accounted for a total of 2,491,159 tourists. Sorsogon came second, with 31% growth. Provincial Tourism Office of Sorsogon attributed last year’s increase in tourist arrivals to better roads, tourism campaigns and partnership with other government agencies like the Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office and the Department of Education for encouraging the youth to help local tourism. Major tourist attractions such as the butanding (whale shark) in Donsol, Bulusan Lake in Bulusan; the mangrove formations in Prieto Diaz; and hot springs in Irosin, the Kasanggayahan Festival in October and the Sorsogon Festival in December contributed to the tourist arrivals of 173,700 last year from 132,696 in 2011. AGRICULTURE AND FISHERY The production of major crops in the region for the first quarter of 2013 decreased by 21.40 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the total production of major crops posted 723,667.54 metric tons while the first quarter this year totaled 596,093.56 metric tons. Decline in production was noted among palay, corn, and coconut. On the other hand, abaca production has increased by 38.25 percent. Slight increase in livestock production was recorded during the first quarter of 2013. The rise in production was only 5.53 percent. Total fisheries production increased from 67,323.73 metric tons to 71,224.55 metric tons in the first quarter of 2013 which posted a minor change of 5.48 percent. However, fishing activities in the region were limited by rough seas and cold weather in February which resulted to the increase of prices of fishery products and the scarce supply of marine products in the markets.
4th Q 2012
1st Q 2013
I. Crops (MT)
Abaca II. Livestock Carabao Cattle
III. Fisheries (MT)
(24.29) 13.24 14.21
This affected commercial fisheries production which showed a decrease of 24.29 percent in the first quarter of 2013. In improving agriculture and fishery sector, among the government and nongovernment interventions were construction of infrastructure, awarding of farming inputs, implementation of various programs and projects and conduct of trainings and seminars. TRADE AND INVESTMENTS A significant increase in investments was recorded in the first quarter of 2013. An aggregate of 323 million was invested in the region during the said quarter compared to 36 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 which represents 785 percent rise in the total investments. Registered stock corporations tripled with an increase of 75 percent in terms of paidup capital. Additional 48 non-stock firms invested in the region with a total contribution of P 15,113,126.50 from P 6,716,116.50 in the last quarter of 2012. The increase of contribution accounts for 65.75 percent.
Type of Firm
4th Q 2012
1st Q 2013
Total no. of firms
Stock Paid-up capital Non-Stock Contribution Partnership Contribution
In terms of trade, the value of exports has increased from 50.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 79.4 million in the first quarter of 2013. Data show that exports in the first quarter of 2013, is expected to increase since data on exports in March 2013 will be added to the preliminary data provided. Most of the imports in the fourth quarter of 2012 were from Japan, Vietnam, China, Australia and Indonesia. Additional data on the imports for the first quarter of 2013 are yet to be included. Commodity
In rods, bars, profiles, foils and strips | Gold bullion
Crude oil | Other
Copper ores and concentrates | Concentrates
Zinc ores and concentrates | Concentrates
Of coconut or copra
MINING Mineral production in Bicol declined by 29.91 percent during the first quarter of 2013 from P 5.98 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 to P 4.19 billion, a decrease of 1.80 billion. Gold is still the biggest contributor to the production value. In Albay, a drop in mineral production was due to reduced production in gold and silver which posted double decrease in production value. Non-metallic mineral production recorded the highest decrease brought by nonproduction of shale clay in Albay and very low production of perlite in Camarines Sur. The estimated production value of non-metallic minerals for the first quarter of 2013 accounts only for P 37,200 compared to P 2.90 million from the last quarter of 2012. In 2012, Masbate remained the top performing province in terms of metallic production value throughout the year as shown in the graph above. The constant high metallic production in Masbate was due to its soaring gold production. In Albay, the metallic production increased during third and fourth quarters of 2012 brought by increase in production of gold and silver. The municipalities of Aroroy and Rapu-Rapu benefited from tax contribution paid by the operators of Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project and Filminera Project, totaling to Php 375 million. Total taxes generated from Filminera Project amounted to 222 million while Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project accounts for 153 million. The taxes generated during the first quarter of 2013 posted an increase of 12 percent compared to the total taxes of P336 million generated during the first quarter of 2013. Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project contributed an increase of 28 percent in total taxes while Filminera shows a slight increase of two percent. DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT Various practices and initiatives among provincial government and concerned key agencies were observed in line with disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (DRR/ CCA). In Daet, Camarines Norte, the administration of Mayor Tito Sarion initiated the 13point agenda of the Go Green Daet (G2D) program in line with its efforts to preserve the townâ€™s remaining ecological resources and CCA. The agenda include daily tree-planting activities, plastic ban, strict enforcement of anti-logging, smoke belching rules and pollution control, stronger solid waste management, barangay beautification, river control and protection, healthy lifestyle, strengthening of the 4H and Rural Improvement Clubs, activation of the Green Brigade, launch of the Eco House and establishment of seed banks.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) conducted an intensive training-workshop that honed the capabilities of local emergency officials in Catanduanes on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM). The activity aimed at institutionalizing disaster awareness and preparedness of the local government unit (LGU) including barangays. OCD assisted the formulation of DRRM Committees for the 63 barangays of the municipality as provided under RA 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010. In Sorsogon, the German Society for International Cooperation is providing a flood warning system along Cadac-an River, which stretches from the lower slope of Mt. Bulusan and traverses several barangays within Juban and Irosin. The project seeks to empower LGU of Juban and Irosin and the communities they cover towards addressing flood disasters by way of enhancing their forecasting capacity and improving response capability through the early warning system. The Department of Science and Technology Region 5 and the Libmanan Pulantuna Planters Federation, Inc. (LPPFI) signed a memorandum of agreement in support of the implementation of the project, “Development of Hybrid Weather Monitoring System and Production of Weather and Rain Automated Stations.” The project is the main component of the nationwide operational assessment of hazards, popularly called Project NOAH. The partnership is in line with government’s campaign for a “zero” casualty during times of calamity and occurrences of disaster. The agreement will bind DOST and LPPFI to a commitment of supporting the establishment and operation of the weather instrument and equipment critical in establishing accurate data on real-time weather situation prevailing in the locality. The accuracy of these readings will mean saving more lives and less damage to the community’s property. DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS Tourism industry of Bicol Region is expected to continue growing due to higher priority of some LGUs in improving the said sector. Cebu Pacific will add flight route from Cebu to Masbate starting June 1 and Skyline Airlines will launch its flight from Manila to Virac starting April 16 of this year. Tourism strategic synergies among provinces are also observed which can offer attractive tour packages to tourists. The celebration of Daragang Magayon, conduct of Rodeo Masbateño, and other festivals in the next quarter will highly contribute to the increase of tourist arrivals. Continued promotion of tourism industry in Albay has been a practice as it has now adopted its own tourism marketing brand “Indulge yourself in warm Albay!” Also, aiming to become major tourist destinations in the region, Metro Naga, an alliance of sixteen local government units at the core of Camarines Sur, launched its new tourism brand and products called “Naga Excursions.” With an increase of investments in the region, the employment rate is expected to rise. Improvements in infrastructure are continuously pursued in support to agriculture, social and environmental projects. These may contribute to the development in the concerned sectors. Revenue and taxes from mining industry will retain its stable contribution to the economy. Improving energy sector remains a challenge for the region with problems of unpaid obligations of electric cooperatives in Albay including concerns on its privatization. However, demand of electric energy may be augmented by the Bacman geothermal project as it resumes its operations of units 1 and 2 of the 150-megawatt Bacon-Manito
geothermal plants following a two-year rehabilitation. Also, a wind energy farm is set to rise in Camarines Sur that is expected to generate at least 60 megawatts of electricity and generate green jobs for the province.