ARMM invites more investors in Basilan and SuluPosted on
Cotabato City, Philippines — The government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the business sector in the region invite more investors to pour in capital in the island provinces of Basilan and Sulu.
The ARMM officials and business led the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) Roadshow for Basilan and Sulu held in Zamboanga City, the activity was was organized by the region’s Regional Board of Investments (RBOI).
In enticing capitalist to come to the province, the organizers highlighted natural resources of Sulu and Basilan, among which include the rich fishery grounds in Basilan Strait, Moro Gulf, Sulu Sea and the Celebes Sea, all produce quality aqua marine products and fishes.
The fertile soil and vegetation in the area suits the requirement for high-value agricultural and industrial crops such as corn, coconut, rubber and many others.
Dr. Rima Hassan, a businessowman based in Basilan who is the chairperson of the ARMM Business Council urged the ARMM leadership to find investors which can match the resources and skills of the local folks.
“We hope that there will be power plants, milling plants, manufacturing plants and factories that can generate a large number of jobs. We want to maximize the sustainable use of our natural resources and take advantage of our serene nature and promote eco-halal tourism,” Hassan further said.
But Ellen Lourdes Kionisala of BOI-Cagayan de Oro City Extension Office explained the “high-risk environment due to the issues of conflict and terrorism that have stricken the region for decades,” are the main issues why investors hesitate to pour capital in the area.
The latest is the Marawi siege, an urban war waged by the Maute terrorist group now in its 10th week, triggering the Duterte administration to declare Martial law in Mindanao.
“(But this) has not affected Mindanao’s economic activities since it is business as usual,” Kionisala said.
Lawyer Ishak Mastura, chairman and managing head of RBOI-ARMM, revealed there are investors ready to invest in region. “As of July 2017, we have registered P3.65 billion worth of investments despite the ongoing Marawi crisis and we are expecting additional P1.5 billion in investments from companies engaged in cacao plantations and other agri-based projects before the year ends,” Chairman Mastura added.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman called on business sector to invest in Basilan and Sulu. “We want more investments in the region to prevent the formation of lawless elements in these areas, because what brings them to this situation is the lack of job opportunities which can be addressed if there are more businesses that will create productive activities and provide them with livelihoods to support their families,” Gov. Hataman said.
The roadshow however resulted to the pouring of P33.5-million by J. Sayang Shipping Lines, Inc. invested P33.5 million for a cargo-shipping project based in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
The J. Sayang Shipping Lines, Inc., is engage in inter-island trace and cross-border shipping in Sabah, Malaysia.
The organizers awarded a Certificate of Registration to J. Sayang Shipping Lines, Inc., represented by no less that Mohammad Faisal Jamalul, the company president.
The establishment will enjoy fiscal and non-fiscal incentives from the government.-Richard Falcatan/Newsline.ph with report from ARMM information bureau