Region 12 to lobby for investment share in agri-biz

Koronadal Mayor Fernando Miguel, RDC chair, said they will submit project proposals involving various priority development projects in the region for possible funding under the program, which was announced by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday.

“We were asked to submit general programs and projects that will create significant impacts to our local economy and of Mindanao as a whole,” he said.


Miguel said he will make sure that the region will submit all the necessary

requirements so it will have a chance to compete with other regions.

Miguel was among the regional leaders who attended the President’s SONA at the House of Representatives and a meeting last Tuesday regarding the establishment of various super or mega regions in the country.

In her SONA, the President said her administration will aggressively pursue the development of Mindanao’s agribusiness sector in the next 12 months.

She also vowed to create a mega region in the island and include a portion for the proposed cyber corridor that would stretch from northern Luzon down to southern and northern Mindanao.

Miguel said they were briefed in Manila last Tuesday about the creation of the mega regions.

“It is a perfect design for development especially for Mindanao because it will fully develop the mega regions into major economies and at the same time allow the neighboring areas to blossom,” he said.

Miguel said among the important projects that the government wants to implement as soon as possible to help develop Mindanao’s mega region is the proposed railway system that will connect key cities in the northern and the southern part of the island.

Koronadal will lead the region in implementing agriculture-related programs and projects to complement the President’s programs, he said.

“Our goal is to make agriculture as the launching pad of our development. So we have programmed Koronadal’s economic initiatives for the next three to five years to focus on maximizing our agriculture and agribusiness potentials,” he said.

Earlier this year, the city government started a two-year oil palm development. The program seeks to develop at least 200 hectares of idle lands in 20 of the city’s 27 barangays, into oil palm plantations.

Koronadal, Region12’s regional center, was earlier declared as one of South Cotabato’s agri-industrial centers. The city is among the major producers as well as the trading center of palay and corn in the province.

Region 12 (Southwestern Mindanao) comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)