Page 1

Volume XIII Number 3 - September 2018 Entered as second class mail

Bicol Development Updates Quarterly publication of the Bicol Regional Development Council

34 PWDs hired on the spot in PWD Job Fair Theme:

Expanding Economic Opportunities in Industry and Services through Trabaho at Negosyo

In this issue:

2 3 4 4 5 6 7 8 9

20 Photo credit: CEPPIO Naga

Industry 4.0 and Manufacturing Industry Bicol economy grew by 5.1% in 2017 Can Bicol sustain itself as Federal State? Outstanding LPMCs recognized RDC okays 2017 RDR NEDA 5 launches PPP knowledge corner 204 job seekers hired on Independence Day Job Fair Embracing innovation challenges: the SETUP experience Stepping up the entrepreneurial spirit for innovation and development Provincial Consultation on Updating the RDIP 20172022


Bicol Development Updates Editorial Board Publisher

Bicol Development Updates

September 2018

Industry 4.0 and the Manufacturing Industry by Gilberto A. Abion, NEDA Region 5

Agnes E. Tolentino

NEDA 5 Regional Director RDC 5 Vice Chairperson


Edna Cynthia S. Berces

NEDA 5 Asst. Regional Director

Associate Editors

Gilberto A. Abion Rosemarie O. Buan Ma. Teresa T. Chong Noe R. Racho Jasmin C. Zantua

Layout Artist & Production Coordinator

Mary Ann D. Montecastro

Article Contributors Bicol University DOLE Region 5 DOST Region 5 PSR Jennifer Arao Gilberto A. Abion Ellezer P. Adan Gieza R. Esparraguerra Ruby Anne B. Lorca Joel R. Lustina Mary Ann D. Montecastro Marites D. Paje Yole A. Palmiano Arlyn A. Ramirez Grace C. Torres


r. Christopher Molin, M Persons With Disability (PWD) Affairs Office Chief for Naga City, delivers his message during the PWD Job Fair on July 7, 2018 at SM Naga City. Of the 136 PWD applicants, 129 were qualified and 34 were hired on the spot. The PWD job fair is one of the activities conducted during the 2018 Bicol Business Month with the theme “Bigger, Better and More!”.


Theme: Accelerating Human Capital Development Article contributions related to the theme may be submitted to / or contact Mr. Noe R. Racho at (052) 482-0499.



he Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, marked by the digital revolution, has been here since the middle of the last century. Industry 4.0, poses new challenges and opportunities for the manufacturing industry. As new technologies are developed, new products emerge that may significantly disrupt the existing industry value chain, i.e. companies may or may not continue to participate. In the Bicol region, the manufacturing industry is not as vibrant as in other regions and may not cope with the rapid pace of technological advancement. This is because they are small scall scale in nature and are engaged in food preservation, woodcraft and furniture making, loom weaving, fibercraft, shellcraft, pottery, and pili confectionery. The manufacturing industry’s contribution to the gross regional domestic product is less than 1 percent, and its growth has been erratic. Gross value added in manufacturing (at constant 2000 prices) increased from PhP4.2 billion in 2011 to PhP6.21 billion in 2017. But from a high growth rate of 38.8% in 2011, it plunged to negative 5.9% in 2012. Positive growth was again recorded in 2013 at 9.6 percent and managed

to grow at 3.3 percent in 2017. At the pace the Bicol region’s manufacturing industry is going, it is unprepared for Industry 4.0. Automation and other innovation in science and technology offered by Industry 4.0 has big potential to transform manufacturing in the region. The rise of online market places and services can empower MSMEs to trade with large markets. Technologies will also revolutionize payments and logistics so MSMEs can interact with their clients. The challenge is to entice big manufacturing industries to locate in the region. This can be done by reducing the cost and improving reliability of power, transportation, logistics, manpower skills, technology and innovation. Improving resiliency from the impact of disasters and climate change will close the gap in the supply value chain. Efforts of the government and private sector must be integrated and converged towards addressing these challenges. More manufacturing industries in the region will expand economic opportunities in industry and services through “trabaho and negosyo” thus reduce inequality in economic opportunities.

September 2018

Bicol Development Updates


Bicol economy grew by 5.1% in 2017 by Mary Ann D. Montecastro, NEDA Region 5

GRDP Growth Rates by sector and subsector in Bicol Region, 2017 (at Constant 2000 Prices)

Photo credit: PSA RSSO V


icol region’s economy, as measured by the gross regional domestic product (GRDP), was estimated to have grown by 5.1 percent in 2017, albeit slightly slower than the 5.5 percent growth in 2016. The GRDP increased to PhP172.4 billion from PhP164.1 billion in 2016 (at constant 2000 prices). The services sector remained as the biggest contributor to the regional economy with 57.6 percent accounting for 3.7 percentage points of the total 5.1 percent growth. Services sector expanded at a slower pace of 6.5 percent in 2017 from 6.9 percent in 2016. Notwithstanding


he Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) reported that as of November 30, 2017 the Philippines has 379 operating and six proclaimed special economic zones (ecozones). Bicol Region has eight operating and one proclaimed ecozones in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte. The largest ecozone in Bicol Region is the Jose Panganiban Ecozone in Camarines Norte with a land area of 36.35 hectares. Ecozones are selected areas which are highly developed or which have the potential to be developed into agro-industrial, industrial tourist or recreational, commercial, banking, investment

its slower pace of growth in 2017, real estate, renting, business activities, public administration, defense, compulsary social security, and other services accelerated as compared to the previous year. The growth in other services was largely accounted for by education.

and fishery (AHFF) sector shared 19.6 percent or 0.5 percentage point of the total 5.1 percent growth. The sector’s rebounce from 0.1 percent contraction last year to 2.6 percentage growth in 2017 can be attributed to the 6.5 percentage points expansion in fishing.

The industry sector contributed 22.7 percent to the regional economy or 0.8 percentage point to the GRDP growth. The sector grew at a slower rate of 3.6 percent in 2017 from 7.4 percent in 2016 due to the decelerated growth of all its subsectors.

The economic gains in the first year of implementation of the Bicol Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 serve as a good platform in expanding economic opportunities in industry and services through “trabaho at negosyo” toward reducing inequality or “pagbabago”.

The agriculture, hunting, forestry

Ecozones in Bicol by Mary Ann D. Montecastro, NEDA Region 5

Ecozones in Bicol Region (As of November 30, 2017)

Source of data: PEZA

and financial centers. The PEZA oversees and administers incentives to developers or operators of world-class, ready-

to-occupy, environment-friendly, secured and competitively priced ecozones.


RDC Actions

Bicol Development Updates

Can Bicol sustain itself as federal state? A by Gieza R. Esparraguerra, NEDA Region 5

mid arguments on the shift to federalism, the Bicol Regional Development Council (RDC) conducted the Bicol Resource Assessment Study to assess the effect of the change in government structure in the fiscal sustainability of the Bicol Region as a federal state. The final draft of the study was accepted by the RDC during its second quarter full council meeting on June 8 at NEDA Region 5, Legazpi City. The study assessed the flow of public income generated within the Bicol region and whether it can sustainably support the expenditures for operations of a federal state. The study found that the region has low local revenue generating capacity. Local revenues are largely generated by the local government units (LGUs) contributing 90 percent

while the 10 percent comes from the state universities and colleges (SUCs) and regional line agencies (RLAs). The region’s expenditures account for ten times the local revenue.

The revenue forecast for 10 years (FY 2026), amounted to PhP48.89 billion which is not enough to cover the estimated expenditures of PhP50.28 billion in FY 2016. This indicates that the region is dependent on national government support. Scenarios with equalization fund will have bigger budget surplus during the initial year of implementation but will only last until 2020. The Bicol RDC suggested to be cautious in the use of the information provided in the study and the need to emphasize the assumptions, scope and limitations of the study when sharing the results.

September 2018

US$13.5 million Off-Grid Power System for Catanduanes


by Gilberto A. Abion, NEDA Region 5

he Smart Off Grid Power System and Integrated Renewable Energies in Catanduanes project was endorsed by the RDC on June 8 through RDC Resolution No. 21, S. 2018, to the National Electrification Administration (NEA), Department of Energy and Government of Japan for funding amounting to US$13.5 Million. The project will establish a mini-grid and energy management system and install 2 megawatts photovoltaic power plant at Palta Small, Virac and 10 x 10 kilowatts wind turbines at Hiyop, Pandan. The First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative will operate, maintain and manage the system, while NEA will supervise the project and establish the system to potential islands in the country.

Outstanding LPMCs recognized by Arlyn A. Ramirez, NEDA Region 5

Engr. Elsie Reyes of PPDO Catanduanes (in top left photo), Mayor Noel E. Rosal of Legazpi City (in top right photo), Governor Jonah Pimentel of Camarines Norte Province (in bottom left photo) and Mr. Dominador Jardin of PPDO Sorsogon (in bottom right photo) receive their award


our outstanding local project monitoring committees (LPMCs) were recognized during the RDC meeting last June 8. RDC Chairperson and Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara awarded plaques of recognition to the Catanduanes LPMC and Legazpi City LPMC, which garnered the first place under the province and city category,


respectively. Both LPMCs also received a cash award of PhP20,000.00 each. Plaques of recognition were likewise, awarded to Camarines Norte and Sorsogon LPMCs that tied in second place under the province category. The search for outstanding LPMCs is an annual activity of

the Regional Project Monitoring Committee that seeks to motivate, strengthen, and sustain the LPMCs in the conduct of monitoring and evaluation of development programs and projects. Through the search, model LPMCs are recognized for best practices in project monitoring and evaluation.

September 2018

Bicol Development Updates

RDC okays 2017 RDR by Arlyn A. Ramirez, NEDA Region 5

RDC Actions

Coco industry gets RDC support

by Gieza R. Esparraguerra, NEDA Region 5

Participants from the non-government sector provide inputs during the RDR integration workshop


he Bicol RDC approved the Regional Development Report (RDR) for CY 2017, which was presented by NEDA Regional Director Agnes E. Tolentino during its meeting last June 8.

(PSOs), along the three pillars of malasakit, pagbabago, and patuloy na pag-unlad. The report assesses the contribution of these PAPs to the attainment of the RDP outcomes in terms of results indicators.

The 2017 RDR assesses the first year of implementation of the Bicol Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022. It outlines the groundwork towards enhancing the social fabric (malasakit), inequality-reducing transformation (pagbabago), and increasing growth potential (patuloy na pagunlad).

The NEDA Region 5, as the secretariat of the Bicol RDC, initiated the preparation of the RDR with inputs from line agencies, provincial and city government units, state universities and colleges, and PSOs. A validation workshop with the government sector was held on April 17 and an integration workshop with the non-government sector was held on April 19. The outputs of both workshops were presented to the RDC sectoral committees on May 3 and 4.

The report presents the programs, activities and projects (PAPs) that were implemented in 2017 by line agencies, local government units, and private sector organizations

Regional R&D Agenda 2018-2022 gets RDC approval



Photo credit: PCA

mprovements in the coconut industry are anticipated as the Bicol RDC supports the passage of the coconut levy fund bill through RDC Resolution No. 23, S. 2018 and the promotion of cococoir technology for mangrove protection through RDC Resolution No. 22, S. 2018. Coco levy refers to taxes collected from farmers from 1971 to 1983 that were intended to develop the coconut industry. The Supreme Court ruled that the coco levy funds and assets are owned by the government in trust for the coconut farmers to be used exclusively for the benefit of all the coconut farmers and the development of the coconut industry. However, the decision does not provide for the administrative mechanism to properly manage the funds. Measures are pending in Congress through House bills and a Senate bill. RDC Resolution No. 23 seeks to expedite the passage of the coconut levy funds bill.

by Marites D. Paje, NEDA Region 5

he Regional Research and Development (R&D) Agenda for 2018-2022, the blueprint for research and development of the region, was approved by the RDC on June 8.

The R&D Agenda will serve as the guiding framework in the conduct of research that will support regional development. It is aligned with the Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 and with the Harmonized National R&D Agenda of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The R&D Committee of the RDC, chaired by Dir. Tomas B. BriĂąas of DOST Region 5, led the agenda formulation to ensure that results

of science and technology activities are geared towards regional socioeconomic development. Four Priority Research Areas in the Regional R&D Agenda 2018-2022

Photo credit: fibredust Coco coir dust used for soil conditioning, soil erosion and flood control

On the same occasion, another resolution was passed to promote the development of coco coir industry in the Bicol region which can provide additional income to coconut farmers and generate more jobs in the countryside.


RDC Actions

Bicol Development Updates

September 2018

NEDA Bicol launches PPP knowledge corner by Yole Palmiano, NEDA Region 5

L-R: PPP Knowledge Corner in NEDA Region 5; PPP Center Deputy Executive Director Eleazer E. Ricote and NEDA Region 5 Assistant Regional Director Edna Cynthia S. Berces officially open the PPP Center


he National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 5, in collaboration with the PublicPrivate Partnership (PPP) Center of the Philippines launched the PPP Knowledge Corner (KC) in the Bicol Region on May 17, 2018

NEDA Bicol spearheads local planners forum

at the NEDA Regional Office 5, Legazpi City.

The PPP KC shall serve as an information hub and coordinating unit between the PPP Center and implementing agencies and other stakeholders in the region. It shall

provide advisory services, maintain data bank on PPP concerns, and answer queries related to PPP and coordinate closely with the PPP Center for support such as access to services in developing and implementing bankable PPP projects.

Bicol RDC PSRs attend 9th National Convention by Jennifer M. Arao, RDC PSR for Persons With Disabilities


by Ruby Anne B. Lorca, NEDA Region 5

icol local planners met on June 1, 2018 at NEDA Region 5, Legazpi City for a planners’ forum dubbed as “Update on Transport Planning and Gathering of Bicol Local Planners”. As part of their commitment during the training on transportation planning last October 2016, the activity generated feedback from Bicol local planners on the status of their transportation plans. NEDA Bicol, in coordination with the University of the Philippines National Center for Transportation Studies Foundation, Inc. and the Bicol League of Local Planning and Development Coordinators of the Philippines (LLPDCP) designed the training in response to the clamor of the local government units (LGUs) for directions on transportation planning and traffic management. Other topics discussed were Philippine Private - Public Partnership (PPP) program and LGUs PPP strategy, update on the 2018 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) survey, designation of LGU’s CMCI focal persons and their functions, and update on Comprehensive Land Use Planning preparation.


Eight Bicol RDC PSRs with Usec Adoracion Navarro, NEDA Region V ARD Edna Cynthia Berces, NEDA Region XII RD Arturo G. Valero (Photo credit: NEDA XII)


s part of building their capabilities for regional development, eight private sector representatives (PSR) of the Bicol Regional Development Council (RDC) with NEDA Region 5 Assistant Regional Director Edna Cynthia Berces attended the 9th RDC-PSR National Convention held last May 22-25, 2018 at the Greenleaf Hotel, General Santos City. This year’s convention was hosted by the SOCCSKSARGEN Region and was participated by around 140 PSRs of the RDCs across the country. The 9th RDC-PSR National Convention with the theme “Peace and Development

Through Better Governance” was highlighted with a series of plenary discussions on crucial development concerns currently faced by our nation. The convention has substantially empowered PSRs and strengthened local governments and communities to contribute to development and peace. Good governance, peace and development are closely interrelated and foster one another. Peace is needed for development, development is needed for peace and good governance impacts them both, while peace and development will foster good governance.

September 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Feature Stories

204 job seekers hired on Independence Day Job Fair Article and photos contributed by the Department of Labor and Employment Region 5

Jobseekers look into the listed local work and training opportunities on June 12, 2018 at Ayala Malls, Legazpi City


egional Director Rovelinda de la Rosa of DOLE Bicol reported that 51 applicants were hired on the spot (HOTS) and 153 were “near-hires” during the Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) job and business fair at the Ayala Malls Legazpi on June 12, 2018.

Dela Rosa added that most of the HOTS applicants were for the positions of visual inspector, service crew, office staff, finance staff, accounting

staff, production operator, management trainee, encoder, IT admin and administrative staff. Meanwhile, ‘near hires’ are job applicants who may be considered as hired but need to submit requirements or may need to attend further interviews or tests. They may be hired or placed depending on the outcome of their interview and compliance of pre-employment requirements of the hiring company.

A total of 1,078 applicants looking for new work and other training opportunities registered in the TNK job and business fair during the celebration of the 120th Declaration of Philippine Independence. The fair gathered 44 participating employers from local and overseas which brought nearly 7,000 jobs. Meanwhile, government agencies which offered jobs were Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Navy, Philippine Statistics Authority Region V and Department of Trade and Industry RO V. One of the thousand applicants who got a job was Rosenda Decano, 22 years old of Brgy. Mauraro in Guinobatan, Albay. Decano is the eldest among the three children of Mr. Roden and Mrs. Violeta Decano. A graduate of a vocational course in Ligao Community College in 2016, she landed her first job as factory worker during the Independence Day TNK Job Fair. This is good news to her mother, 49 years old who is working as a food vendor. While requesting for a photo opportunity holding the tag “I’m HOTS”, Decano said with glee on her voice: “Ipapakita ko po ito kay mama kasi makakatulong na po ako sa pagpapagawa ng bahay namin.” Decano started her job as factory worker on June 16, 2018.

Ms. Rosena Decano hired on the spot duing the TNK Job and Business Fair


Feature Stories

Bicol Development Updates

September 2018

Embracing innovation challenges: the experience Article and photos contributed by the Department of Science and Technology Region 5


Worker of C.O.P. Pili Sweets and Pastries uses the equipment upgraded under DOST SETUP

he Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) encourages entrepreneurs’ adoption of smarter technologies to achieve better products, processes and systems. Through this innovation support program, DOST Region V aggressively promotes the adoption of new technologies, efficient production processes and innovations integral in keeping firm’s competitive advantage and utilizing sustainable and locallyavailable resources.

Last year, the agency assisted 42 firms in the region which passed the external review and technical evaluation committee composed mostly of local experts from state universities and colleges, financial and private institutions in the region. DOST Region V provided funding support of more than PhP31 million. DOST Region V worked with six provincial S&T Centers (PSTCs) in the delivery of this innovation support program which included acquisition of smart technologies, provision of packaging and labeling assistance, capacitybuilding and training activities and consultancy services, among



PSTC-Masbate provided eight SETUP projects, followed by PSTCs in Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon with seven projects each and PSTC-Albay with six projects. Food processing accounted for about 45 percent of the total approved projects. Seven out of ten Bicolano-SETUP assisted firms are engaged in food manufacturing. These projects support the commercialization of Bicol’s banner ethnic food products such as pili and pinangat that are already making waves in the export market. While micro, small and medium enterprises cannot avoid innovation challenges, it is imperative that successful and effective implementation of projects be undertaken to support local industries, generate more livelihood opportunities, and eventually improve the economic condition of Bicolanos. DOST V looks forward with optimism to another challenging and productive year, particularly along technology transfer and commercialization activities.

Ms. Cynthia O. Pereña Owner of C.O.P Pili Sweets and Pastries, CY 2017 Regional Best SETUP Adopter

We decided to avail of the DOST SETUP for three reasons. First, to upgrade our existing equipment into bigger oven and roaster to increase our production. Second, to direct printing on packaging for standup pouches for faster processing and sealing of products- unlike before where we only used stickers. Third, to indicate the nutrition facts or label as required in the international market. We thank the DOST and Director Tom Briñas for giving us a chance to avail of said program. This is a big help for us because without DOST we will not able to grow our business like what we are now. We are hoping to re-avail said program to further improve our production to be able to cater the demand and compete in the global market. (translated by DOST V)

September 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Feature Stories

Stepping up the entrepreneurial spirit for innovation and development Article and photos contributed by Bicol University

requirements of the private enterprises in the priority sectors of tourism, agri-business, and information technology-business process outsourcing. The small and medium-scale enterprises were also given priority through a financial literacy seminar for microbusiness owners, parents, guardians, faculty members, non-teaching personnel and students to awaken their entrepreneurial spirit. The seminar was conducted last February 23 and was attended by more than 230 participants.


TraBAJO MOA signing with DILG Dir. Elouisa T. Pastor and BU Pres. Arnulfo M. Mascariñas

icol University (BU),a premier state university, has always been cognizant of its role in the economic life of the Bicol Region. BU recognizes the need to offer “economic opportunities in industry and services” by focusing on programs and projects geared toward job generation and expansion of business opportunities. Building productive partnerships and meaningful collaboration with various stakeholders, particularly the local government units (LGUs), is one way of ensuring that the marginalized sectors can access economic opportunities and the competencies of the academe are fully harnessed in the process. Among its various programs and

projects that promote expansion of economic opportunities in industry and services is the Training for Better Access to Job Opportunities (TraBAJO) and Local Economic Development (LED) for LGUs. Said projects are in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and selected LGUs. Professors from the BU College of Business Economics and Management are tapped as resource persons to conduct the capacity building activities. The TraBAJO Project helps target LGUs in formulating their workforce development plan, while providing support in preparing their respective communities develop the necessary skilled workforce

In terms of innovation, the BU Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) and Food Innovation and Commercialization Center is one of Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) many projects made through the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (I3S) which is aimed at growing innovative and globally competitive manufacturing, agriculture, and services while strengthening linkages into domestic and global value chains. In support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s 10-point socio-economic agenda, the DTI has implemented the I3S with innovation at the center of its industrial policies and programs. To achieve the given goal, one of DTI’s moves is to partner with institutions of higher learning like BU to ensure that the spirit of innovation is kept alive.

L-R: DTI Asec. Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba (center) visited BU on June 7, 2018 to look into the new DTI-funded FabLab and Food Innovation and Commercialization Center located at BU College of Industrial Technology in Legazpi City; Sampling of one of the machines at the BU FabLab


Results Matrix

Bicol Development Updates

September 2018

Bicol Regional Development Pl Chapter 9: Expanding Economic Opportunities in In


September 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Results Matrix

lan 2017-2022 Results Matrices ndustry and Services through Trabaho at Negosyo



Project Monitor

he Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC), the monitoring arm of the Regional Development Council, conducted field inspection of three projects in Masbate during the second quarter. Also, as part of capability building activities for project monitoring committee members, the Bicol and Western Visayas RPMCs conducted a learning and sharing session in Iloilo City. The succeeding articles show the highlights of said activities.


Masbate senior high schools need more teachers, classrooms, equipment

he Senior High School (SHS) Support Program in Masbate City is implemented in eight public and six private schools that offer two out of four SHS tracks: academic and technical vocational livelihood (TVL). It is in these two tracks that Masbate City senior high schools are more ready in terms of human resources and facilities than the other tracks, such as sports or arts and design. Moreover, results of student assessments reveal that most of the junior high school students prefer courses aligned with the academic and TVL tracks. Under the TVL track, majority of students take home economics in public schools and information, communications, and technology (ICT) in private schools.

by Grace C. Torres, NEDA Region 5

In school year 2017-2018, there were 31 unfilled teaching positions in the city schools division. Informants from the Department of Education attribute this to lack of qualified teacher applicants. To compensate for the lack of teachers, some schools offer night classes and other schools adjust the teaching load of junior and senior high school teachers. Majority of the SHS classrooms under the CY 2014-2017 Basic Education Facilities Fund are completed, but have not been turned over pending repair of minor defects after final inspection. For school year 2018-2019, the schools division requires at least 35 more classrooms, 14 science laboratories, and 14 ICT

Newly constructed SHS building in Masbate National Comprehensive High School


laboratories. The schools also grapple with lack of tools and equipment. One school lamented the fact that only one small welding machine is available for 76 SHS students who take up Shielded Metal Arc Welding. This was echoed by parents who narrated that the students were asked to contribute for the purchase of cookery tools. Despite the transition pains, however, parents and students who were interviewed at the project site appreciate the expected benefits of the SHS program in terms of getting the students more ready for college and for employment.

September 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Project Monitor

Aguada-Locso-an FMR, a strategic link to national roads in Masbate by Joel R. Lustina, NEDA Region 5


Link of Aguada-Locso-an farm-to-market road project to the national roads in Masbate

he concreting of AguadaLocso-an farm-to-market (FMR) road project in Placer, Masbate covers 9.5 kilometers. The road starts from barangay Aguada at the junction of PlacerCataingan national road and ends at barangay Locso-an at the junction of the Placer-Cawayan national road.

order problem at the project site. Construction resumed in January 2018 and as of May 15, 2018 the project’s reported physical

accomplishment was 24 percent. Target date of completion is November 2018.

The FMR project is under the I-BUILD component of the Philippine Rural Development Project with project cost of PhP120.879 million. The PRDP is a national project under the DA that will improve access of farmers to post-harvest facilities, link production areas to major road networks and markets, and reduce travel time and transportation cost of farm inputs and products. The project is funded by the World Bank, national government, and the municipal government of Placer. Project implementation started in June 2017 but was suspended for almost six months due to inclement weather and peace and

Concreted road section at barangay Aguada, Placer, Masbate


Project Monitor


Bicol Development Updates

FishCORAL project to reduce poverty in Esperanza, Masbate

ocated at the southern tip of the province of Masbate, Esperanza is a fifth class municipality composed of 20 barangays. About 60 percent of its population live in the coastal areas. Based on the 2012 preliminary small area poverty estimates, 44 out of 100 individuals were poor. It is for this reason that the municipality was included in the Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood (FishCORAL) project that is implemented by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). With funding assistance from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the project is implemented in Regions 5, 8, 13, and the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao. Overall, the project aims to reduce poverty in the target coastal communities by at least five percent from the average poverty incidence of 42 percent. Project components include coastal resource management (CRM) and livelihood development. Under coastal resource management, major outputs include: formulation/ updating and implementation of municipal bay-wide CRM plans and investment programs, capacity building of the local

by Ellezer P. Adan, NEDA Region 5

Map of Masbate Province (yellow) highlighting Esperanza, Masbate (orange)

government unit and fishing communities to enforce sustainable management of

Interview with Mayor Ian Peter Sepulveda (Left) and Barangay Captain Ma. Tita Endrina (Middle) of Sorosimbahan, Esperanza, Masbate, a member of the Sorosimbahan Fisherfolks Association


September 2018

fishery and coastal resources, and establishment or rehabilitation of fishery and coastal habitats. The livelihood development component will engage peoples organizations in livelihood activities to augment and diversify sources of income among fishing households. Project implementation started in January 2016 and target date of completion is in December 2020. The fund downloaded to the municipality of Esperanza has amounted to PhP3.241 million for livelihood and small infrastructure projects. To date, however, the local government unit is still in the process of procuring said projects. However, the BFAR has implemented the following activities in the area: mangrove rehabilitation, participatory coastal resource assessment, organization of fisherfolk associations, and preparation of livelihood proposals and business plans.

September 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Project Monitor

Bicol and Western Visayas RPMCs share project monitoring experiences by Arlyn A. Ramirez, NEDA Region 5


Bicol and Western Visayas RPMCs at NEDA Region 6 in Iloilo City

s part of capability building activities for project monitoring committees (PMCs), the Bicol Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC), in coordination with the Western Visayas RPMC, conducted a learning session on project monitoring in Iloilo City last June 5 to 7. The activity aimed to improve project monitoring procedures and outputs of the Bicol regional and local PMCs following replicable processes of the Western

Visayas RPMC and allow the participants to share project monitoring experiences. Members of the Bicol RPMC and its secretariat, together with a representative from the local PMC of Masbate City participated in the learning session.

Top to Bottom: The cost-effective design of the Iloilo River Flood Control Project was borne out of a thorough study of the area and the behavior of the rivers; The Iloilo River Plains Subdivision is a resettlement area for 1,000 informal settlers along the Iloilo River who relocated with minimum resistance due to proper and coordinated social preparation; The Oton Evacuation Center, a two-storey building that can accommodate 600 evacuees, addresses the problem of using schools as evacuation centers, thereby no longer hampering the conduct of classes.

The activity was marked by a sharing session between the two RPMCs, a problem solving session on hospital waste management concerns conducted by RPMC 6, and site visits to selected projects in Western Visayas. The sharing session highlighted unique practices that may be replicated and adopted by each RPMC. As observers during the problem solving session, the Bicol participants acknowledged the need to be more proactive in addressing issues arising from project monitoring that are just starting to evolve but are potentially disastrous. The project site visits enabled the Bicol participants to gain fresh insights in the implementation of similar projects in the Bicol region. The Bicol participants shared the learnings and insights gained from the activity to other PMCs in the region during the third quarter RPMC 5 meeting last July 27, 2018.


Quarterly regional economic situationer Second Quarter 2018


by Marites D. Paje and Mary Ann D. Montecastro, NEDA Region 5

espite expanded labor force in the second quarter of 2018, the challenge is to create more quality and high paying jobs for Bicolanos. The higher inflation rate in June 2018 is driven mainly by the increase in prices of majority of commodity items. Production of agricultural commodities is higher owing to fair weather condition and interventions provided by the government to farmers. Metallic minerals produced improved due to higher tons of ore that were milled. The holding of festivities and events boosted the tourism industry and enliven the culture and arts.

Labor force expands but unemployment and underemployment rise in April 2018


Labor Force and Employment Indicators in Bicol Region, April 2018

he Philippine Statistics Authority’s Labor Force Survey showed that about 2.55 million persons were estimated to be in the labor force in April 2018. Compared to April 2017, the labor force increased by 3 percent or 182,450 persons. Labor force refers to the population 15 years old and above who contributes to the production of goods and services in the country.

The number of employed persons increased to 2.42 million (95.1%), higher by 154,570 from April 2017. On the other hand, the number of unemployed persons was estimated at 125 thousand (4.9%), an increase of 27,880 persons from the 97 thousand unemployed persons last year. This can be partly attributed to the new graduates who joined the workforce. To address the unemployment situation, job opportunities were provided by local government units (LGUs) through job fairs and implementation of the Training on Better Access to Job Opportunities or TraBAJO. The project aims to capacitate the unemployed by providing skills training on entrepreneurial activities. The DOLE in partnership with the PESO, LGUs and various employers implemented the JOBSTART program to help the employment of at-risk youth. A

April 2018 Labor Force = 2.55 million

14 in every 15 are employed 5 in every 14 employed are underemployed

Source of data: PSA Region 5

Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan job and business fair was also conducted during the June 12 Independence Day celebration in Legazpi City. The number of underemployed persons rose to 836,640 persons (34.5%) from 526,750 persons last year. Underemployed refers to the employed persons who

Job fair in Naga City; Photo credit: DOLE Region V


express the desire to have additional hours of work in their present job or an additional job, or have a new job with longer working hours. The challenge is how to improve jobs creation in the region. More needs to be done to keep the region in pace with the increasing number of new graduates.

September 2018

Bicol Development Updates

Inflation rise anew



Consumer Price Index, Inflation Rate in Bicol Region, April to June 2018 (2012=100)

onsumers will continue to feel the pinch at public markets, grocery stores and gasoline stations as inflation rate rose in June 2018. Consumer price index (CPI) increased from 116.6 in April to 117.4 in June 2018. Prices in general in the region increased by 17.4% in June 2018 from the base year which is 2012. An average Filipino household need an additional amount of P17.40 in June 2018 for them to be able to be able to buy the same volume of goods valued at P100 in 2012. The CPI measures the change in the average retail prices of a fixed basket of goods and services bought by a specific group of consumers in a given area in a given period of time.

Source of data: PSA Region 5

The purchasing power of the peso (PPP) recorded at 0.85 in June 2018 means that a peso in 2012 is worth only 85 centavos in 2018. The PPP goes down as the CPI goes up. The PPP is a measure of the volume of goods and services which the currency can buy at any given period relative to that which it could purchase during the base year.

second quarter was 6.27 percent, which means that average retail prices rose 6.27 from the same period last year. Inflation rate measures the annual rate of increase in CPI, or how fast the average retail prices increase from the previous year. The higher inflation rate in June was driven mainly by faster price increases in food and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverage and tobacco, health, transport, and education. The higher inflation rate

Inflation rate reached 6.9 in June from 5.5 percent in April 2018. Average inflation rate for the

was also triggered by more money in circulation due to the increase in disposable income of the people resulting from the unconditional cash transfer program of the government, reduction in personal income tax of fixed income earners because of the TRAIN law, and effect of free college tuition which was implemented this year. The increase in US interest rates that led to peso depreciation is also an external factor that cause higher inflation.

Fish, corn, rice and hog production improve

Growth Rate of Agricultural Production by Commodity in Bicol Region, Second Quarter 2018



29.8% -0.7%

Source of preliminary data: PSA Region 5



roduction of major crops and livestock performed well during the second quarter of the year. Total fish catch increased to 75,396 metric tons or by 53.3 percent compared to the 49,180 metric tons in the first quarter. This was partly attributed to the Bantay Dagat of Ligao City which conducted regular patrol to prevent illegal fishing in Burias Pass along the west coast of Albay. Corn production improved by 35.4 percent from 63,847 metric tons in the first quarter to 86,428 metric tons in the second quarter. Farmers received corn seeds, trichogramma and earwigs for biological control of pest and disease, farm and post-harvest machinery/equipment to increase corn production. Five new corn clusters for yellow corn production were organized in Camarines Sur, Albay, and Masbate covering around 1,800 hectares. White corn production was promoted as priority project coined as “BigasMais� or rice corn blend to ensure food sufficiency. Information



Bicol Development Updates

campaign and trainings on “White Corn for Grits Production” were conducted in Albay, Camarines Sur and Masbate to encourage farmers to plant white flint corn. Palay production increased by 29.8 percent from 290,700 metric tons in the first quarter to 377,398 metric tons in the second quarter due to fair weather and the sustained implementation of the rice program of the Department of Agriculture (DA). Rice farmers shifted to high-quality inbred rice seeds and were provided with certified and registered seeds, underwent technical briefings, and training at the farmers’ Field Schools/Climate Smart Farmers’ Field Schools. The full operation of small scale irrigation facilities in Camarines Sur, Albay, Masbate, Sorsogon, and Camarines Norte also increased palay yield since sufficient water supply was provided particularly to rainfed areas. Abaca production also declined by 0.7 percent from 6,834 metric tons in the first quarter to 6,788 metric tons in the second quarter. Despite the decline in production, the provincial government of

Catanduanes continued to rehabilitate 15,034 hectares of abaca damaged by Typhoon Nina in 2016. The DA provided assistance to 13,529 abaca farmers through “cash for work” incentives while the provincial government provided counterpart funds. The DAR turned-over specialized farm equipment or abaca stripping device to farmers to ease up production efforts at a much shorter time. In Albay, the provincial government provided technical assistance and gave “Abaka Mo, Piso Mo” incentives to abaca farmers. Preliminary data from the PSA

September 2018 showed that the coconut produced in the second quarter is 214,648 metric tons which is 21.7 percent less than the 274,159 metric tons in the first quarter. The livestock industry also performed well during the period. The number of hogs in April 2018 increased by 2 percent from January. The DA distributed semen straws, drugs and biologics, assisted in deworming and vitamin supplementation, and trained farmers on intensified livestock production. Poultry production, however, declined by 4 percent in April 2018 compared to January of same year.

Growth Rate of Livestock Production by Commodity in Bicol Region, Second Quarter 2018



Source of data: PSA Region 5

Gold and silver production rise


Mining Site in Aroroy, Masbate; Photo credit: DENR Region V

ata from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) showed that gold and silver production increased by 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Total value of gold and silver minerals reached PhP3.75 billion, an increase of 2 percent compared to the previous quarter and 18


percent compared to the same period last year. The mining industry contributes to the economy in terms of taxes paid to the government. During the period, the large scale mining companies paid a total tax amounting to PhP792.27 million for metallic and non-metallic

minerals. This is 112 percent higher compared to the PhP369 million taxes paid in the previous quarter and 118 percent more than the PhP311.77 million taxes paid in the same period last year. However, it should be noted that the amount of taxes reflected in the second quarter report are for

September 2018 April to May production only. The MGB regulates the operation of small scale miners pursuant to RA 7076 or the Small Scale Mining Act 0f 991. Cease and desist orders were issued to stop illegal mining activities. To provide the small scale miners a designated area for their mining activities, the Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board in Masbate declared the first Minahang Bayan or People’s Small Scale Mining Area covering five barangays in Aroroy and Baleno. For quarrying activities, the local government unit of Albay monitors the volume of extraction per quarry site to avoid over-extraction. Boundary disputes between legitimate concessionaires were likewise resolved by the LGU.


Bicol Development Updates

Growth Rate of Metallic and Non-metallic Products in Bicol Region, Second Quarter 2018

2.0% Gold

PhP3,712.43 M


1.7% Silver PhP35.45 M


PhP 0.63 M

Source of data: MGB Region 5

Visitor arrivals boost tourism industry

ourism remains as one of the major economic growth drivers due to diversified tourism assets and resources ranging from natural, cultural, religious and manmade attractions. Every province prides itself with unique tourism treasures that draw the interests of tourists. During the second quarter of the year, festivities and events were held which not only boosted tourism and trade but

also enlivened culture and the arts.

The month long celebration of Magayon Festival 2018 in May showcased the rich culture and tradition of Albay province. More visitors came and witnessed the XTERRA Albay Off-Road Triathlon which helped boost the province’s growing tourism industry. Catanduanes province promoted the local tourism

XTERRA Albay Off-Road Triathlon 2018; Photo credit: XTERRA Albay



industry by staging the third Abaca Festival last May. The event showcased the abaca industry from raw fiber, novelty items, and fabrics. Legazpi City hosted several national conventions and events, such as the National Cave Congress, 24th Annual Convention of the National Federation of Motorcycle Clubs of the Philippines, International Training on Education Administration Practices, National Mid-Year Convention of Institute of Electronic Engineers of the Philippines, among others. The DOT trained local government units to professionalize, level up the readiness, and upgrade the quality of services of those engaged in tourism operation. The tourism industry, however, is affected by the lack or absence of regulatory measures in various tourism sites particularly in enforcing environmental conservation and protection. These include improper waste disposal, sewerage and drainage systems, construction of facilities in fragile ecosystems, and overflowing number of visitors beyond the prescribed limits, among others.

Outlook for the Third Quarter 2018

ew establishments, like SM City and Marison Hotel, are set to operate in Legazpi City in the fourth quarter of 2018. They will create employment, provide livelihood and income opportunities, and generate revenue for the government. More persons are expected to join the workforce after graduation of the first batch of the K-12 program. However, there is lack of available positions for noncollege graduates. The favorable weather condition in the second quarter and the forecasted fair weather condition in the third quarter will assure positive growth in the rice industry of the region. Inbred rice model farms in Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate and Camarines Sur are expected to generate additional 2,242.5 MT of palay. Training on good agricultural practices and good animal husbandry practices will be continuously conducted by the DA Region 5.


DevAd Sector

Infrastructure Sector



Provincial Consultation on Updating the RDIP 2017-2022

Camarines Norte

July 16-20, 2018

Camarines Sur



Social Sector

Economic Sector

Announcements 2018 National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty October 17-23, 2018

September 2018

2018 Financial and Economic Literacy Week November 5-9, 2018

2018 3rd Quarter BDU Issue  

NEDA 5 BDU Publication

2018 3rd Quarter BDU Issue  

NEDA 5 BDU Publication