(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 23 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Southeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).


Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Ilocos Norte impresses with 98.9% employment rate, single-digit poverty incidence

For the third leg of the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) Domestic Roadshow, the economic team and other members of the economic development group (EDG) highlighted the priority sectors in Ilocos that also served as primary drivers of the region’s economic growth, specifically energy security and human capital development. 

It was revealed at the PEB that the Ilocos Region’s Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) grew by 7.6 percent in 2022, ranking 8th among 17 regions in the country. The EDG also shared that the employment rate in Ilocos Norte was at 98.9 percent in 2022, and that the poverty incidence of the province was already at single-digit in 2021.


This is a testament to the hardworking characteristic of Ilocanos, as noted by Atty. Cherrie Grace P. Bareng-Asistin of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Ilocos Norte. 


Single-Digit Poverty Incidence, High Employment

 

Meanwhile, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Carlos Bernardo O. Abad Santos shared that Ilocos Norte has the lowest poverty incidence in the Ilocos Region at 2.5 percent in 2021. He is confident that the Region can achieve a 7.3 percent poverty rate, and 7.0 to 7.5 percent GRDP over the medium term. This will be achieved through six key strategies under the Ilocos Regional Development Plan which include promoting human capital and social development, as well as increasing income-earning ability, among others. 

 

“I think the region can do even better because in 2018, it has already achieved a poverty rate of 9.9 percent,” Usec. Abad Santos stated. 

 

To support investments in human capital development and increase the employability of Filipinos, especially in the regions, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman highlighted that the social services sector will continue to receive the highest allocation in the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2024 national budget.

 

“Investments in human capital development cornered almost 38 percent of our proposed FY 2024 national budget. That’s P2.18 trillion, of which P983.1 billion is dedicated solely for education, culture and manpower development since we want to have a very productive manpower and labor sector,” Secretary Pangandaman said. 


Renewable Energy Capital of Southeast Asia


Meanwhile, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno emphasized that Ilocos Norte must strengthen its role as the renewable energy capital of Southeast Asia.



In his keynote message, the Finance Chief emphasized that the Ilocos Region, particularly Ilocos Norte, is an emerging partner of the government in ensuring energy security given its vast renewable energy potential and massive reserves of mineral resources for clean energy technologies. 


“Ilocos Norte is emerging to be a promising player in the clean energy arena, being home to the first and largest wind farms in the country,” the finance chief said. 


This was further supported by budget secretary during the panel discussion on “A Fast-Growing and Forward-Looking Economy.” The Budget Chief highlighted that the FY 2024 National Expenditure Program will continue to provide budgetary support for programs and projects that promote renewable energy development, energy efficiency and conservation, as well as alternative fuels and technologies. 


Secretary Pangandaman added that the DBM is also monitoring the scope and distribution of the country’s climate action through the Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET) saying, “We tried to climate tag our budget, in which as much as 9.4 percent is consistent with our priorities under National Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2028. This amounts to P543.45 billion, which is higher by 17.0 percent compared to 2023.”


Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DOE) is also implementing reforms to help the country achieve a 35 percent share of renewable energy in the power mix by 2030 and 40 percent share by 2040. 


“We have decided to come up with Renewable Portfolio Standards. This is for the distribution utilities and electric cooperatives to make sure that every year, they will be increasing their renewable energy in their energy mix by 2.52 percent starting this September,” DOE Undersecretary Cristina L. Guevara shared. 


From July 2022 to June 2023, the DOE has awarded 126 renewable energy contracts, 72 of which are for solar projects, 30 for wind, 20 for hydro, two for biomass, one for ocean, and one for geothermal. 


Financial Inclusivity


Finally, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Eli M. Remolona Jr. said that the BSP  "seeks strategies for sustainability with a heart." 


The BSP Governor shared BSP’s initiatives and measures to enhance banks’ practices, taking into account environmental risks and social considerations, particularly concerning loan portfolio and investment activities on green and sustainable projects. 


The panel discussions for PEB Laoag were moderated by DBM Undersecretary Margaux V. Salcedo and DOF Undersecretary Maria Luwalhati C. Dorotan-Tiuseco. (DBM/PIA-Caraga)