ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 3 — The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) is calling private companies to grab the opportunity and invest in the island provinces of Basilan and Sulu.
Armm is also composed of the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Tawi-Tawi.
Ishak Mastura, chair and managing head of Regional Board of Investment in Armm (Armm-RBOI), on Thursday said the two island-provinces are surrounded by rich fishery grounds such as the Basilan Strait, Moro Gulf, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea producing quality aqua marine products and fishes.
“Both provinces have good soil attributes and sound climatic conditions suitable for highly valuable agricultural and industrial crops such as corn, coconut, rubber and many others. These positive characteristics attract investors to come and invest in the (two) island provinces,” Mastura said.
Rima Hassan, ARMM Business Council (ABC) chair and Basilan based businesswoman, has urged the regional government to look for investors who can match the resources and skills of the local folks.
“We hope that there will be power plants, milling plants, manufacturing plants and factories that can generate large number of jobs. We want to maximize the sustainable use of our natural resources and take advantage of our serene nature and promote eco-halal-tourism. We have a lot to offer to our investors,” Hassan said.
Mastura said the Armm-RBOI has registered P3.2 billion worth of investments as of July 2017 despite the ongoing crisis in Marawi City.
“We are expecting additional PhP1.5 billion costs of investments from companies engaged in cacao plantations and other agri-based projects before the year ends,” Mastura said.
Armm Gov. Mujiv Hataman said there is a need to put fresh capital in the island provinces in Basilan and Sulu.
“We want more investments in the region to prevent the formation of lawless elements in these areas, because what brings them to this situation is the lack of job opportunities which can be addressed if there are more businesses that will create productive activities and provide them with livelihoods to support their families. The ARG (Armm Regional Government) is doing its best to provide business friendly conditions amidt crisis,” Hataman said.
The Armm-RBOI recently held in this city the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) Roadshow for the provinces of Basilan and Sulu.
One of the highlights of the roadshow is the awarding of RBOI Certificate of Registration to J. Sayang Shipping Lines, Inc., which was received by the company’s President Mohammad Faisal Jamalul.
The company invested in a PhP33.5 million cargo-shipping project based in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi to be used for inter-island trade, as well as, cross-border shipping with Malaysia.
Registered firms with RBOI will enjoy fiscal and non-fiscal incentives from the government.