Zambo’s economy hits record high of P139.47B

Zamboanga City’s economy has peaked to a record high of P139.47 billion in 2022, the biggest and the fastest growing economy in Zamboanga Peninsula Region, according to statistics presented by the City Planning and Development Coordinator’s Office (CPDCO) to the City Development Council (CDC) during its year-end meeting on Friday, Dec 19, at the Celebrity Hall, Grand Astoria Hotel.

 The CPDCO reported that the city’s economic growth was primarily driven by the services sector with a staggering increase of 11.9% followed by the industrial sector surging to 4.4% high and the 1.7% upscale in the agri-forestry/fishery sector.

These figures were reflected in the city’s gross domestic product from P125.05 billion in 2018 to P130.82 billion (4.6% up) in 2019 but it severely dropped to P122.93 billion (-6.2%) in 2020 due to the pandemic.

However, in 2021 as the city gradually opened its economy after the pandemic, the GDP grew by 5.1% in the amount of P128.97 billion, and continued to shoot up the highest percentage ever of 8.1%, bringing the city’s economic value to P139.47 billion in 2022.

Notwithstanding the city’s bullish economy after the pandemic, the CPDCO said the 4.8 percent economic growth far beyond the pre-pandemic level would have been much higher than what has been achieved had it not for the stringent requirements of the existing land use classification, conversion process and the Zoning Ordinance.

The land use classification law and the Zoning Ordinance provide a tedious process that tends to discourage or drive away prospective investors, let alone the expansion of industries and commercial establishments, due to lack or space.

“They have nowhere to go for expansion because the bulk of the city’s idle lands is agricultural,” Assistant City Planning and Development Officer Christopher Jessie Lapinid told the 78 CDC members present that included barangay chairpersons and representatives of the different civil society organizations.

To address these and more other related concerns, the CDC chaired by Mayor John Dalipe approved a resolution endorsing to the Sangguniang Panlungsod the need to upgrade or revise the Land Use Classification Map of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of Zamboanga City, and the amendments of certain provisions of the Zoning Ordinance 516 series of 2019.

The CDC also gave its imprimatur on the proposed reclassification or conversion of around 5,000 hectares of agricultural lands into industrial, commercial or residential use, subject to applicable rules and regulations.

Special guest during the CDC meeting was District 2 Congressman and Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe, whose presence gave a remarkable boost to the city’s aspirations and vision for inclusive progress and development under the leadership of his younger brother, Mayor John.

Also present were ZABIDA President Dr. Grace Rebellos, CDC vice-chair, City Planning and Development Coordinator Ma. Luz Agbayani, Councilors VP Elago and newly elected Liga ng mga Barangay President Jordan Evangelista, other department heads, and representatives from national government agencies, among others. – (Vic Larato)