Big businesses are seriously considering investing in Eastern Visayas’ water transport services particularly the Catbalogan to Cebu route, hospital services, agribusiness, mass housing, and agro-processing industries.

Prospective investors expressed such strong interests during the series of investment promotion activities conducted by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) in Region 8 aimed at promoting the economic opportunities under the 2017-2019 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

Through the BOI Extension Office Cebu (BEO-Cebu) in cooperation with the Department of Trade & Industry’s Provincial Offices in Region 8, Investment Roadshows were conducted in Catarman and Catbalogan City; and Capability Building Training (CBT) for Investments Promotion in Catarman recently (June 19 to 21, 2018).

The roadshows highlighted the opportunities in the 2017-2019 IPP and registration of projects with BOI to avail of incentives.  The CBT meanwhile focused on training participants on investments promotion strategies to attract investments in their respective areas. The activity also underscored the importance of business-friendly processes and use of other developmental tools such as Local Investment and Incentives Code (LIIC) to spur economic activities.

“The Philippines has a growing economy.  In fact, our country is projected to grow more than five times its current economic size and become the 24th biggest economy in the world by 2030.  Together with this growth, we see stronger demand for many projects such as these not only in the Eastern Visayas but also in the other parts of the country,” said Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo adding these expression of strong interest from big enterprises is a concrete proof of the continued confidence of investors in the country’s economy. 

Undersecretary Rodolfo also said prospective investors can take advantage of the continued improvement of infrastructure in Eastern Visayas.  He noted Catbalogan City’s Sky City Mega Project that addresses the lack of available area (flat lands) within the city proper.  The Sky City Mega Project is a 440-hectare mixed-use mountaintop (120 meters above sea level) development project already open for investors.

“Prospective investors can take advantage as well of the attractive investment incentives available for them should they choose to invest in Eastern Visayas provinces such as Samar and Northern Samar which are among the provinces identified as Less Developed Areas (LDAs),” Undersecretary Rodolfo said. 

Projects located in any of the identified municipalities of the LDAs in Region 8 are entitled to pioneer incentives and these include: Allen, Biri, Capul, Lapinig, Mapanas, Rosario, San Antonio, San Jose, San Vicente, and Victoria (Northern Samar); Almagro, Basey, Daram, Jiabong, Marabut, Matuguinao, Pagsanghan, San Sebastian, Santa Rita, Santo Niño, Tagapul-an, Talalora, Villareal and Zumarraga (Samar).

 


Top photo shows one of the investments promotion activities conducted by BOI that is expected to jumpstart business activities in Eastern Visayas. Bottom photo meanwhile shows a BEO-Cebu staff assisting a micro small enterprise participant during the one-on-one consultation.

 

The events drew 100 participants from the local government units (LGUs), Negosyo Centers, private sector including micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and members of the business chambers.

“Our next goal now is to ensure that these investment pledges and job opportunities will materialize, and allow us share the economic gains of the country, especially to those at the bottom of the pyramid,” Undersecretary Rodolfo said. 

BEO Cebu, together with the DTI Provincial Office in Samar will do follow-up activities to jumpstart economic momentum in these areas.

Out of the Php617 billion total BOI-approved investments in 2017, investments located in Region 8 amounted to Php754 million.  These investment projects are in the areas of tourism, agri-business and mass housing projects.  In the first semester of 2018, BOI-approved investments in Region 8 amounted to Php368 million.  

Some of the notable projects in Region 8 for the past five years are:  Sulu Electric Power and Light (Phils.), Inc. (renewable energy); Philippine Green Resources, Inc. (coco coir and coco pit production); Robinsons Land Corp. (tourism); Communities-Leyte, Inc. (mass housing); Chen Yi Agriventures, Inc. (agribusiness).  (END)