MANILA — Despite delays in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a total of $366 million (P16.3 billion) is ready for investment in Mindanao.
The investment, backed by the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), is eyed for the development of conflict areas.
It was announced during the sidelines of the Bangasamoro Business Forum organized by the Philippine Business for Social Progress and the World Bank which drew participants from the government and the private sector.
The event focused on investment opportunities in the region and was attended by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. chair Manuel V. Pangilinan and Ayala Corp. chair and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, among others.
“What we have are hard commitments from a number of companies that will total up to about [$366 million] in investments. That will be in bananas, pineapples, coffee and cacao,” said John Perrine, chair of Unifrutti Group Philippines.
Amid the investment results, Perrine also noted their fears that no one will be willing to invest in the area.
“There are some fears that no one will go, no one will invest. These are people who are ready to invest today, without waiting any longer as soon as the funds are available,” Perrine said.
Despite this, Perrine said that the current investment figure which are only reflective of the initial value is expected to create around 22,000 jobs across 18,000 hectares of land.