ARMM investments hit P1B in 2013
The Regional Board of Investments of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RBOI-ARMM) recorded investments totaling P1.463 billion for the year 2013, higher by 157% compared to last year’s P569 million worth of investments.
This is the second time that the agency hit the P1 billion mark; the first was in 2011. Both times were during the tenure of lawyer, Ishak V. Mastura, as Chairman and Managing Head of RBOI.
One of the factors attributed by the RBOI to the increase in investments is the signing of the “Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” between the Philippine Government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front on October 15, 2012. Investors were encouraged to do business in the region due to the perceived stability that the peace agreement will bring about.
Likewise, the active involvement of ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman as the region’s chief or lead investment promoter made a strong impression to foreign and local investors. Governor Hataman on a number of occasions has said “Let us make the business environment conducive and friendly to our investors”. “Huwag nating pahirapan ang mga negosyante na maglagay ng puhunan sa ARMM” (Let us not make it difficult for businessmen to put their investments in ARMM). His support to investment promotion added much needed confidence and trust in the administration by investors in expanding their business ventures or going into new enterprises.
In the latest report of RBOI, the agency has registered 4 firms this year to enjoy investment incentives both fiscal and/or non-fiscal. Al-Tawitawi Nickel Corporation (ANC) emerged as the top investor, which poured in P707.9 million for an expansion project on mining and quarrying of nickel ore in Brgy. Tumbagaan, Languyan, Tawi-Tawi. However, ANC will not receive any fiscal incentives from RBOI since the ARMM needs their taxes for the development of the region.
The second top investor is the Bumbaran Development Corporation, which constructed 1,500 housing units worth P365 million in Brgy. Sarmiento, Parang, Maguindanao. La Frutera, Inc. with its expansion of 300 hectares of Cavendish banana plantation with a project cost of P300 million in the Municipality of Pandag, Maguindanao came in as the third major investor. The company has been operating in ARMM particularly in Maguindanao since 1997. Lastly, the Iron Blaze Petroleum, Inc. committed a P90 million Oil Depot with 9 million liters capacity to be constructed in Polloc Port, Parang, Maguindanao. The Oil Depot project in Polloc Port is considered as a priority of the regional government for luring more investors to the region because of the role that energy and oil consumption plays as catalyst for faster economic growth. This 2013, a total of 1,743 jobs were generated out of the 4 firms registered with RBOI, which is 72% higher as compared to the previous year’s 1,016. (Source: RBOI)