(November 29, 2016.Cotabato City). The Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is now on the process of drafting the latest Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) or the 2017-2019 ARMM List. ARMM IPP enumerates the economic activities the ARMM government should incentivized to meet regional development goals.
Lawyer, Ishak V. Mastura, Chairman and Managing Head of RBOI said that before finalizing the ARMM list, series of IPP consultations are conducted region wide. “IPP consultations were organized as early as mid of last year when we started the review in Lamitan, Basilan Province. Multi-sector groups that were already consulted other than Basilan were from Cotabato City, Parang, and Upi Maguindanao, the latest in Tawi-Tawi and next will be in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. We target to submit this month the final ARMM List to be consolidated with the National IPP that will be given by BOI-Manila before the year ends to Malacañang, for the promulgation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte”, Mastura added.
“This is part of our effort to reach out for more people, the LGUs, business sector, investors and other stakeholders, we encourage them to participate and help us identify investment priority areas to be incorporated in the ARMM List. The ARMM IPP will be the basis for granting incentives to qualified companies that will be investing. The inputs and recommendations of the participants are vital in coming up with a relevant ARMM List that will lure more investors to come and do business in the region”, Mastura further said.
Recently, RBOI had its IPP Consultation in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. The province is one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the Philippines. The province’ rich history and culture if developed could become a top tourist destination in the country. Hence, the development of the tourism industry is a must in the IPP list. Around 80% of the Tawi-Tawians are into seaweed farming; establishing seaweed processing plants is a good investment priority project that would allow seaweed farmers to easily access to market that could give them good returns. Shipbuilding was also recommended in the IPP list due to the presence of skilled craft men who do customized ordered wooden ships. To align with the effort of the ARMM government to revitalize its linkage with the BIMP-EAGA, it is essential to retain cross-border trade in the IPP list. The promotion of energy projects is also encouraged since Tawi-Tawi experiences daily scarce power supply.
Other economic activities identified for inclusion in the ARMM IPP List during the consultation were related to transshipment, virgin coconut oil plantation/processing, aqua-marine industries and halal industry. (RBOI-ARMM)