• Mindanao seen growing ‘6-7% in next 5 years’

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    The Mindanao region is expected to grow in the next five years because of the attention that it is getting from investors, partly because President Rodrigo Duterte hails from the region.

    “But if we look at how demand is behaving in terms of the economic growth in [the region], then very likely we tend to agree with the forecast of 6 to 7 percent in Mindanao. Our growth demand actually mirrors the GRDP [gross regional domestic product]growth of Mindanao although our elasticity is somewhere around 1 to 1.5 so that for every 1 percent GRDP increase in Mindanao translates to 1 to 1.5 increase also in the demand. Those are some of the considerations we need to look at,” Romeo Montenegro, investment and public affairs head of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), told reporters at the sidelines of a recent business forum in Pasay City (Metro Manila).

    “It’s too early to establish a more confident forecast for now given the rapid entry of investors in Mindanao in the last couple of months, especially after the assumption of President Duterte,” he added.

    Meanwhile, a proposed bill for the creation of the Mindanao Power Corp. (MinPoCor) that will take over management, ownership and operations of the state-owned Agus and Pulangui hydropower complexes will be refiled soon in the 18th Congress.

    The complexes are currently operated and controlled by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM).

    “Agus and Pulangi are going to be spun off from PSALM but they will not be absorbed by a new entity which is Mindanao Power Corporation for free. Definitely this is state-owned that will also pay PSALM for whatever market price there is for Agus and Pulangi. It’s like privatizing but the owner is the Mindanao Power Corporation so that income or revenue that will be generated by MinPoCor will go to Mindanao especially for the rehabilitation of Lake Lanao or Lake Pulangi and uprating of the aging plants of the Agus complex,” Montenegro said.

    MinDA is still working it out with some Mindanao lawmakers on whether exactly the same consolidated bill will be refilled, according to the MinDA official.

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