Davao Sur town, a city soon
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (26 September) -- Almost reaching the minimum local income required to become a city, local executives are optimistic of seeing the cityhood of Sta. Cruz very soon.
Town mayor Joel Ray Lopez said that the town is now very ripe economy-wise with the operation of big companies in the said municipality.
Just 38 kilometers from Davao city, the town is home to big industrial plants such as the San Miguel Brewing Philippines Inc, Pryce Gases Inc, and Franklin Baker Company which produces 20 to 25 million pounds of desiccated coconut annually.
The Ayala Agricultural Development Corporation also invested on coconut plantation and cattle production, Filinvest Farms Corporation on sugarcane plantation, GSL Food Enterprise on banana chips, SODACO Farms on durian plantation and others.
" Without the IRA, the town can already stand on its own which qualifies us to become a city very soon," Lopez said.
Situated between two growth centers like Davao City and General Santos City, Sta. Cruz enjoys the advantage of access as it is traversed by the National Highway serving the Southern Mindanao Development Corridor.
Lopez cited the infrastructure and utilities which served as the attraction for the investors to operate in the town. Roads, bridges, power, water supply, and telecommunications are all in place.
The LGU offers fiscal incentives to registered and qualified enterprises in the form f Business Tax Holidays and Non-Fiscal Incentives.
Recently, Sta Cruz opened its door to HEDCOR Sibulan Corporation, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Corporation, which is set to develop a four-billion hydro-electric power plant.
"It is a big investment that will not just generate energy for the whole of Davao del sur but even neighboring cities like Davao and Kidapawan," he said.
A Malaysian firm is also set to put up an oil depot in Sta. Cruz, that would maximize the town's shoreline.
Lopez bared that getting 40 percent of the investment tax from these big companies, the LGU is more than qualified to elevate its status into a city. (PIA XI) [top]