Spatial dimension of economic growth in the Philippines: Identifying new areas of growth / Dimensão espacial do crescimento econômico nas Filipinas: Identificando Novas áreas de crescimento

Arianne dela Rosa Dumayas


The Philippines economy is on the upswing trend amid the global economic slowdown. Against this backdrop of prospective economic boom, it is noteworthy to explore the spatial dimension of this growth as accelerated growth comes with both the promise of shared and inclusive development as well the perils of exacerbated spatial inequality. Like many developing countries, the concentration of economic activities is skewed towards the capital region, National Capital Region (NCR) and its neighboring regions of Calabarzon and Central Luzon. However, as the Philippines is continuously embedded in dynamic and fragmented international production networks (IPN), other regions have the opportunity to catch-up.  Using both regional and provincial data, this study will sketch the spatial dimension of growth and development in the Philippines and identify potential new areas of growth. To determine these potential growth areas, this study devises provincial dynamism index which is composed of economic, safety, education, health, infrastructure and governance indicators. This study has found out that while the NCR and its adjacent regions remain to be the top contributor to country’s total output, the fastest-growing region is Central Visayas which grew at an average of 14.95 percent from 2009-2013 and followed by Central Luzon and Caraga Region in Northern Mindanao. This particular finding implicitly suggests the possible diffusion of growth to other regions. The study has also found out that in terms of provincial dynamism, among the top 10 provinces which ranked the highest in all the indices, there are four provinces (Cebu, Pangasinan, Isabela, and Negros Occidental) which are not located within the peripheries of the capital. The findings of this study are useful for both policy makers and local administrators who aim to stimulate growth and development and for firms who plan to locate to areas which can satisfy their requirements and provide optimal profit.


Economic development; social development; growth areas; spatial inequality

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