ARMM readies investment plan to boost economy

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CITY: The Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is drafting the latest Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) or the 2017-2019 ARMM List.

The ARMM IPP enumerates the economic activities to which the ARMM government should give incentives to meet regional development goals.

Lawyer Ishak Mastura, RBOI chairman said that before finalizing the ARMM List, a series of IPP consultations were conducted throughout the region.

“IPP consultations were organized as early as middle of last year when we started the review in Lamitan, Basilan Province. Multi-sectoral groups that were consulted other than those from Basilan were from Cotabato City, Parang and Upi in Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi; the next will be in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur,” Mastura said.


He added they are set to submit this month the final ARMM List, which will be consolidated with the National IPP from BOI-Manila before the year ends for the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The ARMM IPP, Mastura stressed, will be the basis for granting incentives to qualified companies that will put investments in the region.

Recently, the RBOI had its IPP Consultation in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, one of the most beautiful islands in the country. The province, with its rich history and culture, could become a top tourist destination in the country if fully developed.

Hence, the development of the tourism industry is a must in the ARMM List. About 80 percent of people from Tawi-Tawi are into seaweed farming and establishing seaweed processing plants is a good investment priority project that would allow these farmers easy access to a market that could give them good returns.

Shipbuilding was also recommended in the IPP because of the presence of skilled craftsmen who make customized wooden ships.

Officials also said to align with the ARMM government’s effort to revitalize its link with the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asia Growth Area), it is essential to retain cross-border trade in the IPP.
The promotion of energy projects under the IPP is also encouraged since Tawi-Tawi experiences daily power shortages.

Other economic activities identified for inclusion in the ARMM List were related to transshipment, virgin coconut oil plantation/processing, aqua-marine industries and the halal industry.

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