WWF-BPI Study shows Zambo grew vastly in last 10 years PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 27 August 2012 14:07

Economic data emerging from a study by the World Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) show that Zamboanga City has surged and moved forward over the last 10 years.

The study, presented during the scenario building exercise on business risk assessment and management of climate change impacts held in the city recently showed tremendous growth across various parameters and sectors in the city from 1990 to 2010.

WWF-Philippines Vice Chairman and CEO Jose Maria Lorenzo Tan said the economic and social data that emerged from the data gathering phase of the study showed that there are many elements of Zamboanga’s economy that are doing better than other major cities.

“If you look at the economic data, the social data that emerges from the data gathering phase you will note that there are many elements of Zamboanga’s economy wherein it seems to be doing better than other cities like Cebu and Davao that are perceived to be doing better, but in reality, it is Zamboanga that is doing better”, Tan said in an interview.

From 1990 to 2010, Zamboanga’s population has almost doubled and the population density grew by more than 50%. 

The number of housing units has more than doubled from 78,476 in 1990 to 149,622 in 2007, the number of universities increased a hundred-fold and schools by level and educational enrollment more than doubled, according to the WWF-BPI study.

Motor vehicle registration also soared by 315% in 10 years, inbound cargo grew by 50%, outbound cargo went up by 168% as import volume more than tripled, the study revealed.

The study likewise showed that coco-based product is Zamboanga’s top export as rice and industrial salt are the city’s top import.

The tourism industry also boomed and surged ahead with tourist arrivals increasing by more than 200%, as the number of hotels increased by 250% and number of hotel rooms grew 76% and numerous other data showing that Zamboanga has grown by leaps and bounds, defying claims by some sectors that the city has lagged behind other areas.

“What struck me was the fact that inspite of the fact that Zamboanga City has always been regarded as an opposition city and that you don’t have a representative in the cabinet, your last senator was Roseller Lim, but you emerge as the second wealthiest city in Mindanao”, the WWF executive stressed.

In terms of climate impacts, Tan said Zamboanga is much less at risk than other areas in Mindanao like Cagayan de Oro and Davao as it has much less rainfall, not much problem about very high uplands that are prone to landslide and that the city has a well-managed watershed in Pasonanca. 

The scenario-building exercise is a joint project of the WWF-Philippines and BPI and is designed to contribute information through a study that the two agencies are conducting. The first phase of the study was done in Davao, Ilo-ilo, Cebu and Baguio and the second phase is being done in CDO, Zamboanga, Laoag and Dagupan.

The project is intended to make these cities understand what are the new business risks and opportunities that will arise from climate change. — Sheila Covarrubias