Tag Archives: agri- business

Mindanao connectivity to ASEAN revived

by Bernie Magkilat
Manila Bulletin]
August 5, 2014

Mindanao is being revived as the new gateway to Southeast Asia this time with more vigor with real connectivity by air and sea underway on hopes that manufacturing operations will further thrive with new power capacities coming in.

Rey Billena, regional governor for Mindanao of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), told reporters at yesterday’s press conference for the 23rd Mindanao Business Conference (Minbizcon) on September 1-3 in General Santos City that Mindanao is poised to deliver the Philippines to Asean in 2015.

Already, Mindanao will be connected to Bitung, Indonesia through General Santos City with the maiden voyage of cargo vessel P.T. Kanaka of Surabaya by August 30 this year. The commercial shipping service will operate twice-monthly with a 200 twenty foot equivalent container capacity.

This new sea route will serve as transshipment port for goods coming from China to Jakarta. It will substantially reduce travel time to 8 days from 18 days for cargoes from China to Jakarta, Surabaya and Bitung.

Aside from carrying export products from Mindanao, P.T. Kanaka will also shuttle container vans from Davao, GenSan and Bitung. The GenSan port, though highly underutilized, also requires upgrading since it does not have cranes that would unload cargoes but are instead utilizing vessel-mounted cranes.

Bitung, already an international port, is only 350 miles away from GenSan and 15 minutes by plane.

The Davao-Bitung Ro-Ro project was made possible with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Davao City and Manado Chambers of Commerce and Industry during the Davao Investment Forum in November 2012. Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo endorsed the project. This service is core advocacy of the Philippine Consulate General in Manado, in anticipation of increased trade between Southern Mindanao and North Sulawesi.

At end-2013, Indonesia was the Philippines’ 11th biggest trading partner with total trade reaching $3.51 billion. In terms of air connectivity, Billena said that air service is also expected to resume by the first quarter or second quarter of next year connecting Davao and Manado.

“We have concrete discussions with two airline companies, one Filipino and one Indonesia,” he said without identifying these airlines. Three airlines – Mindanao Express, Garuda of Indonesia and Lion Air – initiated flights in 2007 but they stopped due to difficulty to build up traffic.

“Hopefully, with manufacturing firms such as tuna canners also putting up manufacturing operations in Bitung we can build up traffic this time,” said Billena, a retired country manager of a joint venture company by San Miguel Corp. and The Cocal Cola Company. The connectivity of Mindanao to Indonesia is part of the Mindanao Development Authority to create three growth corridors in the region with Zamboanga City serving as as gateway to the East Asia Growth Area and a trading hub while Cagayan de Oro will serve as business center for agri business and GenSan in southern Mindanao as food and logistics hub.

Already, investments in power generation in Mindanao are expected to adequately serve the Mindanao’s power requirement to support its growth. The region is projected to require 3,000 gigawatts by 2030.

Some capacities from Aboitiz Power, San Miguel Corp., Sarangani Power, FDC in Cagayan de Oro may be frontloaded between 2015 and 2016 while a total of 1.7 GW shall be on stream by 2018 or 2020 instead of 2030.

Mindanao tribal leaders press end of large-scale mining and other projects destroying lumad culture and life

BusinessWeek Mindanao
26 April 2011

DIGOS CITY — Some 100 lumad leaders from Mindanao gathered for a Datu-Bai Conference calling for the stop of large-scale mining and other development projects that are destroying the ecology and Lumad ancestral domain.

The gathering continues at the San Isidro Labrador Parish, Digos City with a cultural gathering today and press conference tomorrow.

The traditional leaders include tribes from the Bagobo, Ata-Manobo, Matigsalug, Obo and Manobo in the Davao Region, B’laan and T’boli in Socsksargen, Higaonon, Kaolo, Banwaon and Talaandig in Northern Mindanao, Subanen in Zamboanga Region and Manobos in Caraga.

The Conference held April 25 pointed out that “development” projects have encroached in their ancestral lands such as large-scale mining, agri-business, and coal-power plants.

The recent deaths in a landslide in a mining area in Pantukan, Compostela Valley shows a possibility of what will happen if large-scale mining comes full blown. Datu Duluman Dausay, an Ata-Manobo from Talaingod, Davao del Norte said that while they firmly oppose mining in Davao Region, local officials fail to show the same resolve.

“It is no longer the destruction of environment, but the destruction of life as well” the leaders in the Conference said.

The traditional leaders point out that such projects do not contribute to the needs of the people especially to Lumads.

“Do the extraction of minerals go back to us? Do the plantations alleviate hunger?” asks Jomorito Guaynon, a Higaonon leader from Bukidnon.

The Datus and Bais said that these projects ultimately earn profit for foreign-owned companies at the expense of destroying the environment, and ultimately the life and culture of Lumads.

“What future do we leave for our generations if our land is gone?” the leaders asked

In a phone message, Datu Guibang Apoga, Ata-Manobo leader of Talaingod, Davao del Norte, called on fellow lumad leaders to never waiver in defending against “development” projects that destroy the environment.

Guibang also called on them to defend the ancestral land and culture of lumads.

There are 18 ethnolinguistic groups in Mindanao with a three million population. All share the common problem of environment plunder, and the military harassments accompanying these projects.

Large-scale mining companies encroaching the Lumad areas are Xstrata-Sagittarius Mines in South Cotabato and Davao del Sur, Toronto Ventures in Zamboanga del Norte, and four mining companies in Caraga.

Other projects affecting the lumad communities are coal-fired power plants in Davao del Sur and the Aboitiz in Davao City, the Hedcor hydro-power plant in Davao del Sur, plantations such as palm oil in Caraga and jathropa in Bukidnon.