• +63 (38) 411-0138 Local 42012
  • bedipo@bohol.gov.ph
  • 2f New Capitol Building, Tagbilaran City, Bohol


Citing Philippine Statistics Authority numbers, Bohol Governor Aris Aumentado announced that the Bohol economy hit P171B in 2023, mainly through tourism growth. “Revenge travel” increased visitors to close to a million in 2023, (741,000 as of October was a 313 percent hike from 2022) and compared to only 179,781 in 2021.

This presented a hefty 7.1 percent GDP growth rate for Bohol in 2023. Bohol, therefore, represents the third largest economy in the Central Visayas region after Cebu province and Cebu City. The Bohol Economic Development and Promotion Office also reported a total of P29.3 B new investments in 2023.

Although poverty incidence at 23.8 percent mirrors that of the national average, inflation was tamed down to 4.3 percent in November 2023 from a high 8.7 percent in November 2022.

Buttressed by huge OFWs (Overseas Foreign Workers) remittances and the tourism surge, the Bohol banking industry has grown its deposit base to P68-B representing an average annual growth rate of 10 percent per year. In banking parlance, Bohol is a net provider of funds for their respective head offices, according to sources at the Bohol Banking Association.

Bohol tourism got a significant shot in the arm this year after the UNESCO voted Bohol among 18 new Global Geoparks, the only one in the Philippines, so far, and the largest in Asia. So far, 18 specific sites in Bohol have been identified as Geopark areas.

The economy is coming up roses that the electricity demand in the province has been projected to rise from 113MW to 148 MW in 2024. The province had earlier suffered from extreme power outages coming out of the earthquake- and the Typhoon Odette disasters – making power generation and sustainability a critical governance issue.

The current power set up of interconnection to the Leyte geothermal plants, diesel and hydroelectric plants are not enough to service the close to 1.3 million Boholanos and the transient 1 million annual tourists.

Fortunately, a powerhouse line up of energy suppliers from the Lopez, Alsons and Yuchengco groups are currently finalizing power plant deals within the year. The interconnection likewise between Bohol and Cebu via the NGCP (national grid) will be completed by December.

Water continues to be a contentious issue with the present suppliers likely to face supply shortage if the conflicts in the sourcing of potable water from rivers are not resolved.

Power, water and land transportation facilities need a wholesale upgrade since the demand for such will grow exponentially.

There are presently 11 Manila-Panglao daily flights and 3 direct Korea-Bohol daily flights currently, but the Panglao international airport is set for another P7-B upgrade according to transportation authorities. While the old Tagbilaran city airport is planned out for an economic zone type of development, the smaller Ubay runway could be transformed into one other alternative airport for the other side of Bohol.

This year two major investors are opening up in Bohol, namely, the Shoemart Supermalls, the country’s largest retail mall (in the city) and the JW Marriot Panglao Resort and Spa (Marriot remains the world’s largest hotel chain in terms of the number of rooms globally) in Panglao- among many other resorts and hotels.

So are the Puregold outlet (Ubay) and the S and R Retail (Panglao) out to set foot in the province. A Korean investor is also busy looking for a suitable green area for a golf course development, the first one in Bohol.

The Department of Tourism has eyed Bohol as the next big thing in the Visayas for tourism and certainly the influx of new visitors and wide-eyed big-time investors are proofs that Bohol’s time has arrived.

Manila Bulletin – January 9, 2024 

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