Investments in ARMM seen to grow despite Marawi crisis

File photo of the ARMM compound in Cotabato City. MindaNews photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/ 7 July) – Investment prospects for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) remain bright despite the crisis in Marawi City, an official said Friday.

Marawi is the capital of Lanao del Sur, one of the five provinces in the ARMM.

In a press statement, Ishak Mastura, chairman and managing head of the ARMM’s Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) said capital investments in the region from January to May had exceeded last year’s figures.

He said the region has registered at least three investment projects worth P3.65 billion from January up to May this year.

In 2016, total investments reached P1.3 billion.

This year’s investments included the fish processing and cold storage project of Abing Seafoods and Cold Storage in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, which is worth P32 million, Mastura said.

He said the project will help address the needs of fisher folks in Tawi-Tawi to process, store, and preserve their catch.

Another investment is the cargo shipping project of J. Sayang Lines, Inc., worth P33.5 million.

Also located in Bongao, the project will serve inter-island trade and cross-border shipping with Sabah in Malaysia.

The biggest investment for 2017 is the P3-billion telecommunications carrier project of the TierOne Communications International Inc.

Mastura explained the company will provide the region’s cellular services in 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE and broadband wireless internet to homes and businesses, and WiFi for public or common areas.

He said that with the fastest internet service of 3,000 kB/s download speeds, TierOne will provide coverage for Voice Over Internet Protocol services and would be using the latest technology, such as fiber optics and satellite relay with international gateway facility.

TierOne, according to RBOI-ARMM, is 70% owned by Filipinos and 30% owned by Australians.

A few years back, the company obtained a franchise to operate from the Regional Legislative Assembly of the ARMM

“Despite the Marawi crisis, the investment prospects of ARMM continues to show signs of resilience and dynamism because the crisis area has effectively been contained by the government,” said Mastura.

He said they expect investments in banana plantations in Maguindanao province in 2017. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)