WITH Central Visayas as the fourth most populous region in the country with a population of 8.08 million as of 2020, business leaders believe that population growth will continue to drive progress in the local economy.
From 2015 to 2020, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) cited Region 7 as one of the fastest growing regions with an annual population growth rate of 1.88 percent.
“On top of a sizable population of highly literate individuals, Region 7 can boast of its prime tourism and heritage assets, and strategic industrial infrastructure and amenities,” Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Steven Yu said.
Yu said the four major provinces in Region 7 complement each other and are big powerhouses of resources.
He said it has the best of tourism, export, industry, commerce, logistics and even agriculture.
“We can predict with certainty that the best is yet to come for Region 7. It is evolving fast not just as a center of commerce, industry and tourism, but also as a highly resilient community of provinces,” he said.
Yu said people from all over the Visayas and Mindanao come to Cebu to study and to work.
“This does not include the fact that it also has an already well-developed information technology infrastructure. The clear advantages are the skills and young demographics of its workforce. Cebu’s livability and relatively lower costs of manpower versus the National Capital Region is also a big plus,” he added.
Filipino Cebuano Business Club president Rey Calooy said local and foreign investors look at the population of an area as one of the factors in investing in a location.
“It’s one of their criteria, the available skills and labor and the talent pool,” he said.
Calooy said the growing population of the region conveys a positive outlook since people prefer to stay where livelihood opportunities abound.
He said with the improved infrastructure and more business- friendly policies, the region’s attractiveness to investors will remain.
In the latest census of the PSA, the country’s total population was recorded at 109,035,343 as of May 1, 2020. (JOB)