Tampakan triggers land speculation

Manila Standard Today
Julito G. Rada
April 18, 2011

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—The Tampakan mining project of Sagittarius Mines Inc. is expected to spur additional investments in the region from local and foreign companies once it becomes operational in 2016, a local official told reporters over the weekend.

“This will definitely transform South Cotabato into an industrial, residential and commercial province. Right now, interested investors are planning of owning properties here in anticipation of more vibrant economic activities in the province once Tampakan commences operations in 2016,” Tampakan Mayor Leonardo Escobillo said.

He said the project had triggered an appreciation in the price of land from P150,000 per hectare to P1 million. “A number of investors have actually started landbanking in the province in preparation for 2016,” he said.

Escobillo said the SM group of retail tycoon Henry Sy had expressed to locate in the province. “Just recently, a representative from SM Cebu inquired for a possible location in General Santos but it did not say if its project would be an expansion of SM malls or if it would be a residential project,” he said.

He said former vice presidential candidate Bayani Fernando had bought a piece of land in Koronadal, the capital.

He said the mining project boosted Tampakan revenues and transformed it from a fourth-class to a second-class municipality in 2010.

Sagittarius Mines earlier said it hopes to obtain an environmental compliance certificate this year. It is preparing a study on the environmental impact of the mining project and start public consultations in the third quarter of this year.

Sagittarius Mines data showed that it had contributed P2.4 billion to the Philippine economy in 2010 in terms of employment, annual wages, government taxes, purchase of goods and services, and community partnerships, sponsorship and donations.

The project is expected to significantly contribute to the economic development of the country. Once operational, revenue stream is estimated at $37 billion, or P1.85 trillion, over the life of the mine.

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