By Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha, PIA 1, La Union
SAN FERNANDO CITY — The National Statistical Coordination Board said the Ilocos Region’s economy grew by 5.2 percent in 2012 because of the growth in services, industries and agriculture sectors.
In a report, the NSCB regional division noted that services provided the biggest chunk to the region’s economy with a 48.8 percent share or up from its 48.1 share in 2011. The industry sector, on the other hand, posted a 3.6 percent-growth in 2012 due to favorable manufacturing and public construction activities.
The agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishery (AHFF) sector, meanwhile, registered a 3.7 percent increase in 2012 from only 3 percent in 2011 due to higher production of the region’s major crops.
Dr. Irenea B. Ubungen, NSCB Ilocos Region head, however said the fishing industry posted a negative growth last year largely due to storms that visited the Ilocos provinces.
“From 11.2 percent-growth in 2011, the fishing sub-sector has dramatically declined to -0.8 percent in 2012. Fishing production (declined) because of typhoons,” Ubungen said.
To address the decline, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional offices have designed an intervention for the fishing industry to recover from the sudden drop through the industry clustering program.
Rose Mary Quitos, DTI division chief of the business development division, said that they are now focused on clustering Pangasinan’s milkfish (bangus) industry.
Quitos said the program encourages Pangasinan’s bangus growers, processors and the local government to increase hatchery and nursery of marketable milkfish.
“Milkfish hatchery can be done at backyards so it will not involve so much investment,” Quitos said.
She added through industry clustering, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can avail of shared-service facility that the DTI and BFAR provide.
“We will help in their production by providing them tools and equipment that they can share,” Quitos added.#