Biz leaders to draft Mindanao dev’t plan

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 8 March) – Business leaders from all over Mindanao will draft a comprehensive development plan, a move that is seen to unlock the economic potentials of the island.

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) president Ronald Go said that Davao businessmen, under its former chair John Gaisano, are coordinating with their counterparts and local government officials to come out with an integrated plan that will resolve the different issues hampering the growth of Mindanao.

He said they are working with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) to spearhead the two-day Mindanao Enterprise Summit 2017 that is scheduled tentatively for June 2017, themed as “Cohesive Networks and Vigorous Enterprises toward Robust and Greater Economy (CONVERGE) Mindanao”

Romeo Montenegro, director for Investment Promotion, International Relations and Public Affairs of MinDA, said they will come up with recommendations how to deal with Mindanao’s most pressing concerns, most especially those affecting the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“This undertaking seeks to identify from rounds of regional consultations and put forward recommendations to address issues that deter growth and expansion of business, especially MSMEs,” he said.

Go said that they are seeking support from MinDA to undertake the plan, which will be completed within six months.

“We are coordinating with major cities of Mindanao to find out where we should go, what’s the development plan for the whole of Mindanao, so we have an integrated plan really for the development of different economies here in Mindanao,” he said.

Go said that Mindanao’s businessmen will define in the plan “what is the best interest for their cities and for Mindanao as a whole.”

“We feel we should get things moving now that we have the momentum with our President. Once the ball is rolling, we feel this development should just continue. People should just jump in the bandwagon,” he said.

Go said they also encouraged investors to put up more eco-zones around Mindanao to be able to attract more foreign investors.

“I think we need more of the economic zones. Like in Manila and Cebu, investors are ready to come in because if you have these economic zones which are already developed for the infrastructure, the power, the road network, the industrial parks are already set then they do not have anymore problem of acquiring the land and going through all the problems,” he said.

Businesses operating at eco-zones accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) enjoy fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)