Mindanao investments up 23%
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (21 October) -- Investments are up by over 23 percent for the first nine months this year of projects filed within the priority listed areas of the Board of Investment in Regions IX, XI, XII and part of Caraga Region.
Gil Dureza, Bureau of Investments head covering the said areas said that as of September 2006 total investments filed amounted to P8.1 billion with about 10,181 jobs created.
The first nine months in 2005 only registered P6.6 billion that created only 1,589 jobs that only represents 10 percent of the jobs created for the same period this year.
He attributed the over 500 percent increase in employment to agri-business projects particularly on banana growing and more are expected because of the expansion plan.
He said the Upland Banana Corporation with P4.6 billion capitalization was able to place some 10,161 workers for the 4,000 hectares banana plantations within Cotabato and South Cotabato areas. The UBC already has plans of expanding the area to 8,000 within two years, he added.
The AJMR Port Services Corporation put in total investment capitalization of P1 billion for 200 workers.
Investments as of September 2006 in Davao City includes the Lapanday Packaging Corporation of P767.1 million with 81 more jobs, Pacific Services and Packaging Corporation of P275 million and 118 jobs, the PSC Diversified Fruits Corporation with P260 million of 1,034 jobs, the Southern Philippines Fresh Fruits of P52 million with 109 jobs, Tri Star Plastics Inc., P35.3 million of 70 jobs, Stargate Enterprise Corporation, P12 million and 28 new jobs.
Other investments includes that in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur for P904,000 with 11 workers of Vigor Seeds Corporation and in Makilala, Cotabato with P18.5 million and 26 jobs filed by Makilala Rubber Industry, Inc.
He said more investments are coming in towards the end of the year namely the Sea Cage Projects in General Santos City with an investment of P15 million. The Australian owned gold processing of the Mindanao Mineral Processing (Midoza Mining) will pour in P250 million. Transcode (for medical transcription) in General Santos City with P3 million and the Diamong Star Agro Products, a vapor heat treatment plant for a P160 million capitalization are among those who will doing businesses in these areas.
Dureza however said that there are constraints for some investors to locate in the region because there are not enough data to look at as far as investments are concerned.
"With regards to agri business investors they are not more on the presence of infrastructure but technical information like elevation of midland to highland, the level of water or rainfall," Dureza said.
"However, the technical information for agricultural production is nor present," he said.
As early as 1997 BOI had been harping with the local government units for them to set up investment centers, which unlike in Davao City that had put out its own and fully utilized it, only ten percent of the Local Government Units within the four regions are into it.
"They are not as aggressive as Davao City maybe because it is not their priority," Dureza opined. "Perhaps some of them do not appreciate how investment can generate wealth for the community," he added. (PIA XI) [top]