Off to a good start: BARMM okays two investments worth P200 million

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 08 January) — The investment climate in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is off to a good start in 2022 with local investors pouring a combined investment worth P200 million in Cotabato City, the seat of government of the Bangsamoro region.

Ishak Mastura, chair of the Bangsamoro Regional Board of Investments (RBOI), said they approved the registration of Pagana Kutawato Corp. (PKC) and Hanabana Construction and Equipment Corp. (HCEC) on Wednesday, January 5.

“This is a good start for the year and we hope that more investments will come to BARMM this year in order to make up for the jobs lost and economic activity curtailed by the (COVID-19) pandemic,” he said in a statement.

Last year, Cotabato City, which voted for inclusion in the BARMM during the 2019 plebiscite to ratify Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the BARMM, registered investments worth almost P400 million, Mastura said. 

Mastura said that with investors pouring their capital in Cotabato City, it could be the potential game changer in the investment profile of the Bangsamoro region, particularly if foreign banks and other financial institution focus on Islamic banking and use the city as their gateway to the Philippines.

The newly registered PKC, which is investing some P100.2 million, is a “one-stop shop” company serving Cotabato City and nearby provinces. It is engaged in hotel and tourism, with a halal certified restaurant, mini-grocery store, laundry shop, among others, in its premises, the RBOI said.

A report issued by the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) said  KPC “will establish a tourism type of hotel and restaurants using container vans to attract more tourists or visitors to the city.”
“Our purpose of expanding our hotels and restaurants in a new innovative design is to cope with the increasing demand of our visitors on accommodations and food,” lawyer Anwar Malang, who owns the company, said.
Malang was also aiming to promote their halal native food and delicacies in the city to boost tourism-related industries in the area, the BIO reported.

According to the RBOI, the HCEC will provide bulk water supply and treatment facility for Cotabato City and nearby municipalities. The project is worth P96. 3 and will generate 83 jobs.

Engr. Samim Yusoph, HCEC coordinator, said they were contracted by the Metro Cotabato Water District (MCWD) to build a bulk source of potable water system in the city using its modified water equipment or technology.

“As agreed in the contract, the MCWD will not pay any single centavo for the use of our water technology or equipment but the volume of water to be pumped out going to the residences in Cotabato City of around 7,000 cubic meters daily will be payable by them monthly once it is operated,” the BIO quoted him as saying. 

In 2021, the Bangsamoro region approved investments worth P2.8 billion, up from P14 million in 2020, RBOI records show. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)