Investments in BARMM: from P14 million in 2020 to P2.8 billion in 2021

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 December) – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) recorded 2.8 billion pesos worth of investments this year, surpassing by 300 million its 2.5 billion target and generating an increase of 2,287 in employment this year, the Bangsamoro Board of Investments (RBOI) said.

Last year, the first year of COVID-19, BBOI registered only 14-million pesos worth of investments.

BBOI chair Ishak Mastura said the 2.8 billion worth of investments in 2021 came from the Al Muzafar Agriventure, Inc. (P950-M); ES Maulana Global Ventures Company, Inc. (P998-M; Eight Z’s Building Property Rental (P398-Million); Lanao del Sur Corn Development Corp. (P408-M); and the Prime Certification and Inspection Asia Pacific, Inc. (P49-M).

“The total amount is a strong rebound from the Php14-million investments registered in 2020, and this (came) despite the continuing struggles of investors and companies to survive the economic crisis brought about by the pandemic,” Mastura said.

Because of the  growth in investments in 2021, “the Bangsamoro region has recorded a 2,287 increase in employment this year,”  Mastura said.

The seat of power in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Cotabato City in this photo taken on 22 September 2021. MindaNews photo by GREGORIO BUENO

The decline in investments last year was due to several issues, the BBOI said.  COVID-19 and its lockdowns, questions on continuity under the new BARMM and the adjustments of investors due to the impending passage of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or the CREATE law (now Republic Act 11534). The law was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in mid-March 2021 and took effect on April 11, 2021.

RA 11534 cuts corporate income tax rate to 25 percent from the current 30 percent.

The BBOI has been promoting investment activities by holding, among others, consultations on the BARMM-wide Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

With the transition period in the BARMM extended until June 30, 2025, Mastura said they expect a clamor for the passage of a Bangsamoro investments and incentives law to meet the challenges of competition for investments with other regions reeling from the impact of super typhoon ‘Odette.’

Mastura said the Bangsamoro region needs to “allocate more personnel for investments and provide a more efficient structure conducive to facilitating investments in the region.” (MindaNews)