MATANOG, Maguindanao – What used to be a barren lands is now the focus of foreign investors willing to pour in capital as dividends of Mindanao peace process, the local executive today said.
Investors from Asia, Middle East and South America are bent to pour in millions of dollars “because they found the rich soil of Matanog,” town Mayor Mohammad “Kits” Guro said.
The mayor was referring to the village of Langkong, part of the more than 10,000 hectares idle lands used in the past as bailiwick of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“Langkong” is a Maguindanaon-Iranun term for fertile soil.
“A study was conducted and it found out that the quality of soil is exceptional,” Guro told reporters. “Langkong soil nutrients is high quality, so the people here now are excited and have been asking when the project will start,” he said, adding that investment processing of documents is being fast tracked.
Investors consider to acquire coconut, banana, pineapple and coffee from Matanog and nearby towns, Guro said, adding that he met with several investors while performing pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia this year.
“Within the year, investments will come in and this quiet town will soon become agricultural economic zone of Maguindanao,” the ever optimistic Guro said.
In fact, Guro stressed, a Malaysian investor is willing to import from Matanog, anytime, huge supply of whole coconut. “If we can supply coconut right now, the investor is ready,” he boasted.
But Guro said he is still coordinating with neighboring towns for additional coconut supply because Matanog could not fill in the Malaysian demand as of yet.
He said investor concern was security and it has been addressed with the help of the Army’s 603rd Infantry Brigade who mediated to settle family and Muslim clan wars.
The GPH-MILF peace agreement has transformed Matanog from war-torn community to investment destination.