GPH-MILF talks trigger surge in ARMM investments–exec

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/15 February)—Investments registered in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) breached the P1 billion mark barely two months into 2014, with the growing investors’ confidence attributed to the strides in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In a statement, the Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) in the ARMM said it has approved the registration of a record P1.451 billion worth of investments in the area in a meeting last Thursday in Zamboanga City.

Throughout 2013, the investments registered with the RBOI reached P1.463 billion, which are almost the investments registered so far for this year.

“This is the first time that investments in the ARMM reached more than P1 billion year-on-year,” lawyer Ishak Mastura, RBOI chairperson, said in the statement.

He projected that investments in the area could hit P2 billion until the end of 2014.

The strong surge in investment in the ARMM comes in the wake of the signing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last month of the Annex on Normalization, the last of the four annexes to the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB), according to the statement.

Agreed by the GPH and MILF peace panels on October 15, 2012, the FAB consists also of the annexes on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing, and Power Sharing. The parties signed the three annexes last year in Malaysia, the third party facilitator.

The FAB and the four annexes will compose the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the final peace deal between the GPH and the MILF.

In Buluan, Maguindanao last week, Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Quintos Deles said that the peace panels are ready to sign the CAB likely by early March.

She noted that President Benigno Aquino III wants the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which is being drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, to be finished by March 31 so he can submit it then to Congress as a priority bill.

“We’ve come this far so let us all support this peace process. The negotiations were difficult in adherence to the order of the President to learn from the lessons of the past and that everything must be within the ambit of the constitution,” Deles said.

“The important thing on the part of the government during the negotiations was that it was guided by the principle not to make promises it cannot deliver politically, economically and culturally,” she said.

Mastura said that the new investments are from local investors, who are registering with the RBOI “because of their increased confidence in the improving peace and order situation in the area, brought about mainly by the success of the GPH-MILF peace negotiations.”

“We are actually getting more inquiries about how to invest in the ARMM than is usual from foreign companies,” he added.

With barely two months into 2014, the RBOI registered the P921.56 million biomass energy project of Lamsam Power Corp. in Sultan Kudarat Maguindanao; the P520 million nickel ore mining project of SR Languyan Mining Corp. in Languyan, Tawi-tawi; and the P10 million import and export trading business of ABSCOR Multi-Trading Co. in Maluso, Basilan.

President Aquino, who was in Davao City last Wednesday as keynote speaker for the 2nd ARMM LGU Summit on Governance and Development, has projected a rosy economy for the new Bangsamoro region once it is established.

“Nananabik na po tayo sa araw na maipasa na ang Bangsamoro Basic Law, upang tuluyan na ngang mabuksan ang bagong kabanata ng kasaysayan sa Muslim Mindanao (We are excited to have the Bangsamoro Basic Law passed so that a new chapter will finally unfold in the history of Muslim Mindanao),” he said.

The ARMM will be abolished once the Bangsamoro Basic Law gets the approval of Congress and ratified in a plebiscite. (MindaNews)

URL: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2014/02/15/gph-milf-talks-trigger-surge-in-armm-investments-exec/

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  • Ric Atencia

    Great!

  • Ric Atencia

    Great!