R12, R10 get most of investments poured in Mindanao

More than 46 percent went to Southeastern Mindanao and about 44 percent went to Northern Mindanao, said a Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) report.

The remaining 10 percent was poured in the island's four other regions, namely, Western Mindanao, Caraga, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and Southwestern Mindanao.

Romeo Montenegro, MEDCo information and communication chief, said investments in 2006 appeared to be lumped in the two regions because of the value of investments poured there.

He clarified to MindaNews that the investment projects were spread out all over the other regions in Mindanao based on the number of projects.

Southeastern Mindanao region received P2.39 billion in investments.

MEDCo attributed it to the investments in packaging products and cargo terminal facility.

The report said the increased competitiveness of the agribusiness firms in the region resulted in the infusion of capital for the two projects both from local and foreign investors. 

The two projects accounted for 87 percent or P1.08 billion in total investments to the region.

Other investments in the area went to production of coco peat, hybrid corn, and mass housing.

MEDCo said new investments in packaging products in the region will likewise result in greater competitiveness both for local and international markets. 

The establishment of a cargo terminal facility, the report said, also would entice more investors with the prospect of greater efficiency for firms.

The Board of Investments office in Davao identified the facility as owned by fruit company AJMR Ports Services.

The report also cited increase in growth rates for rice and corn production due to the end of the drought induced by the El Nino phenomenon. The report said investment commitment worth P2.4 billion to grow Cavendish bananas in Davao del Sur is expected to spur further increases in the agriculture sector.

Northern Mindanao, on the other hand, got P2.25 billion in investments.

MEDCo said the combined investments of the two regions generated about 2,476 new jobs, which is about 87 percent total jobs created in Mindanao in the year. 

Misamis Oriental (capital: Cagayan de Oro), part of Northern Mindanao, got the highest share of investments with P1.7 billion.

Huge investments in Northern Mindanao were in water supply and treatment, which amounted to P1.2 billion, the largest flow accounting for 24 percent total investments in Mindanao.

The report cited that substantial investments in steel billet/steel bars, public construction, fresh pineapples, hotels and resorts, cold storage facilities, and mass housing explained why Northern Mindanao was one of the most attractive regions for both local and foreign investors in 2006.