MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) are working together to identify growth areas that could be developed into tourism hubs.
NEDA deputy director-general Emmanuel Esguerra said they are aligning goals under the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 with that of the Tourism Development Plan (TDP).
“Based on the tourism development plan, developments in tourism are not in immediate areas where tourists are present. Because you need other services, it could come from adjacent communities so the growth spreads even to areas that are not directly within the tourist hub,” he said.
The NEDA official noted that development is not evenly spread in other parts of the country.
“From the data, we observed that around 60 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) just comes from three regions, which are NCR, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon, Mindanao is 14 percent and the rest and from the point of view of inclusive growth, you would want growth to be broad based for the other regions to partake of the benefits of growth,” he said.
Esguerra said this is one strategy that could lead to growth and eventually help alleviate poverty in the country.
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“Now going forward, the strategy to make that happen is to pay attention to the spatial or the geographical and sectoral dimension of growth and its possible to identify those specific areas that have very high growth potential that have good chance of creating jobs and thereby you hope to reduce poverty,” he said.
Most of the areas being looked at, he said, are those with high agricultural activities.
“Raising agricultural activity will be important in raising that development aspect,” he said.