May kokontra? Pernia says Davao could fall behind to CDO

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National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto Pernia believes that change in coming to Cagayan de Oro, and Davao may not like it.

Pernia, in a BusinessWorld Online report Wednesday (July 19), said that CDO is poised to become the country’s fourth metro center by 2025 thanks to its “projected population growth and functional role as a principal gateway and trans-shipment hub in Northern Mindanao.”

If this projection comes to fruition, the NEDA boss said CDO could even overtake neighbor Davao as the most highly urbanized area in the far south.

“National Spatial Strategy foresees Metro Cagayan de Oro to become the fourth metropolitan center by 2025. Cagayan de Oro is going to be the fourth and maybe overtake Davao,” Pernia was quoted as saying in the report.

The three existing metro centers in the country are Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.

According to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) figures, Northern Mindanao posted a 7.6 percent gross regional domestic product (GRDP) in 2016, the second-fastest in Mindanao behind Davao’s 9.4 percent.

As for contribution to the country’s overall GRDP last year, Northern Mindanao accounted for 3.8 percent, which was not far from Davao’s 4.1 percent.