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Nation

ARMM investments up in 2013 despite security woes

The Philippine Star

DAVAO CITY , Philippines   â€“ Investments in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) went up to P1.4 billion last year despite some security problems that besieged the region and its adjoining areas, including the siege by Moro National Liberation Front rebels in Zamboanga City last September.

The investments in ARMM in 2013 represented a 157 percent increase compared to P569 million generated in 2012.

Comprising the ARMM are the provinces of Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.

“We attribute this significant increase in investments to the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),” said Ishak Mastura, chairman of the Regional Board of Investments (RBOI).

Mastura said the agreement boosted the confidence among investors in doing business in the region because of the promise of peace and stability. 

The RBOI also announced that the ARMM registered four new businesses last year with mineral development being the biggest contributor to the region’s growth.

A Tawi-Tawi based company, Al-Tawitawi Nickel Corp., invested more than P700 million for a mineral development project in Tawi-Tawi, while a P365-million real estate investment was registered by the Bumbaran Development Corp.

Other major investments included the expansion of a banana plantation, and the establishment of an oil depot. 

Mastura said the strong support of local government units, reinforced by the regional government, assured investors “that doing business in the ARMM is easy, safe, and profitable.”

“It’s worth noting that the more than P1 billion worth of investments recorded last year generated 1,743 jobs for the people of ARMM,” he added.

The regional government has also been offering both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for new investments to attract more business ventures to the region. 

“Governance reforms in ARMM have not only contributed to the overall peace and security situation in the region, but has also increased investor confidence as shown by this positive development,” said Mindanao Development Authority chair Luwalhati Antonino. 

Antonino expressed optimism that the ARMM would continue to experience massive investment growth once the remaining infrastructure projects in the region are in place.

The ARMM received P8.59-billion funding under the Transition Investment Support Plan of the national government, and P2.8 billion of the amount was allocated for the infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

A TAWI-TAWI

AL-TAWITAWI NICKEL CORP

ARMM

AUTONOMOUS REGION

BUMBARAN DEVELOPMENT CORP

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS

FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT

INVESTMENTS

ISHAK MASTURA

LUWALHATI ANTONINO

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