DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/04 July) – Investment leads in Mindanao surged in June to surpass the figures for the first four months of 2016, according to data from the Board of Investments–Southern Mindanao.
BOI-Southern Mindanao chief Gil Dureza told Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City on Monday the P886.75 billion investment leads last month showed an improved investors’ confidence for Mindanao after the victory of President Rodrigo R. Duterte in the May 9 elections.
Dureza said these include 12 to 13 big ticket projects by Chinese, Taiwanese, Indian, and European investors.
The investment leads generated in the first four months of the year reached P86.94 billion.
“The inquiries started increasing two months before the election but more investors came after election,” he said. “Before election, the way Duterte projected that he would transform the economy, that signal alone has provided the international community to build up their level of confidence.”
He said foreign investors became interested to invest in Mindanao because they like Duterte’s peace and order agenda.
“Much more with other countries this time who suffer economic crisis and cannot anymore expand within their locality,” he said.
Most of the areas of interest are public-private partnerships, manufacturing, infrastructure, power generation, resource-based agriculture, business process outsourcing, and mass housing.
Last year, the agency approved 358 projects worth P366.742 billion, up by 3.38 percent compared to 2014’s P354.557 billion for 295 projects.
Dureza said they want to see the leads become real investments by tapping private groups and government agencies like the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. and Mindanao Development Authority.
He added the agency’s operation is “overheating” receiving two to three daily inquiries mostly from foreign investors.
“We are so amazed with these figures because we have not experienced such phenomenon before. In fact, prospect investments before would only range between P10 billion and P12 billion. This time, it is a staggering figure,” he said.
Investment trend in Mindanao has been moving up for the past five years, but Dureza said it was only this time that investments took a major leap with investors wanting to infuse more investments in the island like never before.
He said they are now focusing on making a follow- through on the projects – and no longer with incentives – to ensure that the requirements of the investors are met.
He added they are hoping to bring projects like manufacturing from Luzon to Mindanao that will bring a tremendous impact on the growth of other industries.
He said they will invite investors to locate in existing economic zones and industrial parks just like in Malita in Davao Occidental, Panabo in Davao del Norte, and Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur.
He noted that some of the investors wanted to start operations in the next three years.
As of May 2016, BOI-approved projects in Mindanao reached a total of P14.7 billion for 21 projects and generated 4,533 jobs. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)