The Bangsamoro Region is now adopting the Make It Happen in the Philippines (MIH) campaign brand for the region’s overall branding, including its investment promotion activities.

This, after the region, underwent training on the development of an Investment Marketing and Communication Plan. The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the country’s lead industry and investments promotion agency (IPA) conducted the training together with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism (BARMM-MTIT) recently (May 31 to June 3, 2022) in Cotabato City.

The MIH campaign is the Philippines’ newest investment promotion brand campaign launched in November 2020, serving as part of the country’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery strategy. Inspired by the Filipinos’ genuine “make it work/make it happen mindset”, the campaign is designed to generate more investments into the country to grow the country’s economy and increase employment opportunities for the Filipino people.

The campaign targets investors in 18 markets in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and America and focuses on promoting the country’s key industries as represented in three global value chain clusters that have the most potential for foreign investment namely: Industrials, Manufacturing, and Transport (IMT); Technology, Media and Telecommunication (TMT); and Health and Life Science (HLS).

As an autonomous region, the BARMM will use Make It Happen in the Philippines – Choose Bangsamoro as its regional brand. The region’s promotion branding injects the Sarimanok into its regional logo, a legendary bird that become a ubiquitous symbol of Maranao art and is unique to the Bangsamoro. It is depicted as a fowl with colorful wings and feathered tail, holding a fish on its beak or talons. The head is profusely decorated with scroll, leaf, and spiral motifs as a symbol of good fortune.

The regional brand is further broken down into four sub-brandings considering the many inherent competitive advantages that the region can offer. These are location branding that would highlight the region’s tourism and investment opportunities; product branding that would showcase the region as a global Halal hub and the products that it can potentially market and carve a niche in the international marketplace; people and culture branding that would put in the spotlight the region and its people and rich culture including its history, language, food, fashion, and celebrities; and political branding that would showcase the Bangsamoro as a reformed, peace-loving, adhering to moral governance region, and a united region speaking in one voice.

The Make It Happen in the Philippines brand meanwhile is infused into the regional brand through the play of colors and texts. Initially, the following are the working draft logos of the MIH-infused BARMM promotion brand:

“We must communicate to the world the potentials of the Bangsamoro region as an investment destination of choice, especially with the improvements in the region,” MTIT Director-General Rosslaini J. Alonto-Sinarimbo said. “It’s our chance to put our region forward,” she added, as the training program serves as a take-off point in formulating BARMM’s Investment Marketing and Communication Plan to fully promote the region as a potential investment destination for domestic and foreign investors.

BOI Executive Director Maria Veronica Magsino, meanwhile, said that the three-day training was a proof of a strong partnership between the national and BARMM governments towards harmonizing the campaign brand of the Philippines.

“This endeavor is not new to us, since for the past years, we have been encouraging government agencies and the private sector to use MIH as the country’s new investment promotion campaign brand, in their respective investment promotion activities and information materials,” Executive Director Magsino said.

The multi-day training and planning workshop covered various topics namely an overview of the MIH brand campaign; the basics of formulating a marketing and communications plan, and the development of information materials and utilization of promotional tools such as Canva and Hubspot.

The BOI Communications Team with BARMM-MTIT Director Shamera Abobakar, joined by the rest of the training participants.

Aligned with the national investment promotions campaign, the proposed marketing communication plan will then be finalized by BARMM-MTIT with the guidance of the Philippine BOI. The output will serve as the Bangsamoro region’s blueprint for communicating to its target audiences and stakeholders.

The Bangsamoro, or officially BARMM is an autonomous region located in the Southern Philippines. Replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the BARMM was formed with the ratification of its basic law, the Bangsamoro Organic Law following two-part legally-binding plebiscite in Western Mindanao held on January 21 and February 6, 2019.

The BARMM covers the predominantly Muslim Provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, the Cities of Marawi and Lamitan, Cotabato City, and the 63 barangays in North Cotabato.

In terms of investments, BARMM houses the top corn starch milling company in the ASEAN – Lamsan, Inc., also a top 1,000 company in the Philippines, which has been operating in the region since 1971. The top one cassava starch processer in the country is also located in BARMM, Matling Corp., established in 1928. About 39 percent of seaweeds in the Philippines come from BARMM. Banana plantations in the regions are also the most profitable in the country and the sweetest in the world according to the UNIFRUTTI company. END