FINANCIAL and insurance activities in Davao Region grew 6.1% in 2021 and was the second biggest services sector, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) regional office reported.
Services as a whole accounted for 58.7% of the region’s economic output, which grew by 5.9% in 2021 with a value of P882 billion from about P833.2 billion in 2020.
Insurance sector growth is expected to continue this year, driven by a still considerable untapped client base, according to Sun Life Grepa Financial, Inc. (SLGFI) or (Sun Life Grepa) Executive Vice President Roy Padiernas.
“Growth will come from the potential market,” he said in an interview in Davao City last week.
In the first quarter this year alone, he said, the leading insurance firm’s total annualized premium collection has increased by 41.8%.
“This tells us that we are already up for a good start, especially in this part. Davao Region is actually our number one region (in growth),” he said.
To tap the potential market, the company is beefing up its local sales force with a target of at least 250 agents from the current 160.
“One important dimension of the economic story, which has not been highlighted much, is the consumption pattern… and the performance of the insurance industry with growing public consciousness of (including it) in the basket of priorities,” said Assistant Secretary Romeo M. Montenegro, deputy executive director of the Mindanao Development Authority.
Meanwhile, PSA-Davao Region Director Ruben D. Abaro Jr. said of the overall 5.9% economic growth, 3.3 percentage points came from services, 2.5 percentage points from industry, and 0.1 was contributed by the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors.
“Agriculture, forestry, and fishing contributed the least to the total economy of Region 11 with 16.1% share,” he said during the local PSA’s press conference on Thursday.
Gilberto A. Altura, assistant regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority, said the low output in the agriculture sector was due mainly to a reduction in poultry production as well as the impact of the African Swine Fever in the hog sector.
“Also, the effect of Typhoon Odette (in mid-December) that reduced the output of agriculture sector,” he added.
Mr. Abaro said industries in the region with the fastest growth were mining and quarrying with 21.9%; human health and social work activities with 14.6 %; construction with 12.5%; and accommodation and service activities with 10.8 %.
Davao Region is composed of the independent city of Davao and the five provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriential, Davao Occidental, and de Oro. — Maya M. Padillo and Marifi S. Jara