11 August 2018
Published also in Business Mirror

PAGADIAN City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur, is ready to attract more locators and increase investments as the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the country’s lead industry development and primary investment promotion agency, recently capacitated key stakeholders in the province on the investment opportunities under the 2017-2019 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

The IPP, a three-year rolling plan, lists the preferred invesment activities that may be given incentives by the BOI. With the theme “Scaling Up and Dispersing Opportunities,” the IPP brings forth significant additions and changes, following the President’s Zero + 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda, the aspirations embodied in AmBisyon Natin 2040, and the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.

The BOI, through its Domestic Investments Promotion Service-Cagayan de Oro Extension Office, facilitated the road show participated by 92 representatives mostly from the business sector, local government units (LGUs) and other government agencies in Zamboanga del Sur.

Commercial banks Land Bank of the Philippines and Security Bank, likewise, presented during the road show their financing windows for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The forum concluded with a one-on-one consultation with the investors on agribusiness and tourism.

“We are happy to note the active participation of Pagadian key stakeholders in the road show. Such enthusiasm means the readiness of the city to attract more locators, thus increasing investments and generating more employment opportunities for the people,” said Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo, who added locators in the city may enjoy various investment incentives offered by the agency.

The city has four less-developed areas (LDAs), namely, the municipalities of Josefina, Sominot (Don Mariano Marcos), Tigbao and Vicenzo A. Sagun. Investors who locate in these areas are considered pioneers entitled to six years of income-tax holiday.

Investment projects registered with the BOI located in Region IX or the Zamboanga Peninsula Region where Pagadian City belong is also very minimal, only at P2.554 billion from 2013 up to the first seven months of the year.  Ranking as last among the regions in terms of project cost, the industries registered with BOI in the region include accommodation and food service activities; agriculture, forestry, and fishing; arts, entertainment, and recreation; electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply; manufacturing; and real estate activities.

“We hope that investment roadshow conducted in Pagadian will serve as a take-off point and jumpstart the interest of investors in the area. The BOI is more than willing to assist the local government in promoting and facilitating investments in the city as well as the entire region,” Rodolfo added.

The new IPP has a broadened coverage to encourage and attract fresh capital in new sectors and regions, thus addressing the inequality in economic growth and employment. Among the new priority activities in the 2017-2019 IPP are: Innovation Drivers, to underscore the important role of research and development, innovation ecosystems and infrastructures in modernizing our economy, which includes commercialization of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) or government-funded research and development; and Inclusive Business Models for agribusiness and tourism, which fosters income and business opportunities for the poor or low-earners of society by integrating them into the supply chain of medium or large companies.

“It serves as a blueprint in guiding local and foreign investors in matching their entrepreneurial and financial capacities with the identified opportunities to steer the country’s economic growth to a broader and sustainable path. It aspires to maintain the Philippines’ competencies while developing sectors with potential for inclusive growth by connecting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the global value chain.” Rodolfo said.