Tag Archives: economic development

DTI pushes Mindanao as investment destination

The Philippine Star
By Louella Desiderio
July 8, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging investors to invest in Mindanao given huge opportunities in agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.

The Trade department said Mindanao offers investment opportunities and a significant contributor to the country’s export performance and economic development.

“Mindanao is in a special position to provide solid support system to export growth and economic development,” Trade Undersecretary Ponciano C. Manalo Jr. was quoted as saying during a recent investment conference organized by the DTI through its Regional Operations Development Group in partnership with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

“The opportunities in Mindanao are so meaningful in this administration, government sectors work together and support priority in agriculture, agro-industrial food processing, manufacturing and even tourism,” he said.

Mindanao, he said, should be considered by investors interested in agriculture given the island group’s land area.

Manalo noted that eight of the top 10 provinces producing coconut which is a global favorite, are in Mindanao.
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He noted that coco coir and peat are traditional export favorites.

Value added products like desiccated coconut, virgin coconut oil, and coconut water also have strong demand from foreign markets.

Manalo said the coconut industry offers huge investment opportunity given rising consumer demand for coconut based food ingredients.

Apart from coconut, he said the carrageenan which is extracted from a variety of seaweeds, also offers investment opportunities.

“Carageenan has many uses and its main application is on food products where it is used primarily for its gellying and thickening properties. Seaweed production is an integral part of the Mindanao industry cluster,” he said.

Opportunities are likewise available in other tropical fruits like mangosteen, banana, pineapple and papaya, which all enjoy huge demand overseas.

The region, the DTI said, will also be a good investment destination for manufacturing and tourism.

Mindanao 2020 document launched in Cagayan de Oro

GoldStar Daily
17 May 2012

REPRESENTATIVES from the business, civil society, and government agencies met Tuesday in Cagayan de Oro to draft a road map for the economic future of Mindanao by 2020. Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Luwalhati Antonino said during the Mindanao Economic Policy forum that many of the issues confronting Mindanao today and the strategic way forward actions that need to be pursued are embodied in the Mindanao Peace and Development Framework plan (Mindanao 2020) which MinDA presented to President Aquino in 2010 as the administration’s agenda for Mindanao. In the Mindanao 2020 plan, the economic policies are embodied in the 10-point agenda. “This holistic, integrative and multi-dimensional plan is hoped to transform Mindanao into a peaceful, integrated, cohesive and dynamic isLand-economy that will be at the forefront of our country’s sustainable development within the next twenty years,” Antonino said.

Antonino added that the blueprint for Mindanao’s future goes well beyond economic and infrastructure development, and addresses other dimensions that are integral to Mindanao’s holistic sustainable development, such as peace and security, human development, and social cohesion, governance and institutions. Antonino, who was appointed to the position as MinDA Secretary by President Aquino, said the government’s policy is to endeavor to pursue progress and transformation for the isLandregion, not only in the context of securing peace amid history of confl ict but also in terms of harnessing its inherently rich economic potentials for the benefi t primarily of Mindanawons. In the formulation of Mindanao 2020, the following guiding principles were adhered to:

Holistic and integrative planning, which addresses the social, economic, environmental, cultural, political/institutional and spiritual dimensions of human welfare as interrelated and mutually reinforcing concerns; Environment and natural resources as the foundation for the peace and development roadmap to the future of Mindanao, implying that these must endure and be judiciously sustained into the future; Considerat ion for the larger national, regional and global context, i.e. planning with full consideration of the dynamic changes in the national and international Landscapes; Subsidiarity, asserting that units of governance closest to the people must be the primary determinants of actions and interventions to address problems and issues that begins in communities; Pluralism and cultural diversity as a strength that can be harnessed through appropriate attitudes and motivation;

Paramount importance of good governance in effectively addressing injustice and poverty, and in promoting sustainable development; Participation of women and youth as essential elements for the success of various peace and development interventions; Affi rmative action and a preferential option for Mindanao to redress traditional injustices and restore confl ictdamaged facilities and institutions; Sensitivity to the various dimensions of confl ict in addressing traditional challenges; and Wide ownership secured through a participatory plan formulation process, critical to gaining wide support towards its successful implementation.

Antonino added that it may sound like an ambitious plan for Mindanao, but that Mindanao 2020 is fi t for the people of Mindanao. “We should dream, we should not be content with what we have now, and this is not for ourselves but for our children, they will benefit these policies,” Antonino said. Sam Chittick, governance advisor of the Austalian Assistance for International Development (AusAID), said “Mindanao must change. That the opening sentence of the Mindanao 2020 report sets out the fundamental challenge for everyone here today, and all those interested in future growth and peace in Mindanao. This statement, through the voice of all Mindanawons, challenges each of us to consider what we’ve done, what we are doing, and what we can do to help change the fundamental dynamics that have constrained Mindanao for decades.”

Chittick added that the Mindanao 2020 is a labor of love for many people “including some of the best and brightest minds of Mindanao, like Dr. Ciel Habito, Ella Antonio, Fr. Bert Alejo, Fr. Jun Mercado, Dr. Ric Eguia, Marian Roces, Edtami Mansayagan, Samira Gutoc, and Dean Tony La Vina,” Chittick said. Chittick added that these authors were responsible for many consultations around Mindanao, and a large part of their role was listening to the desires of the varied interests of Mindanawons. Antonino said the Mindanao Economic Policy forum would hopefully be able to fruitfully discuss, validate and supplement the observations and analysis contained in the policy papers so as to generate shared consensus, offer alternative perspective and recommendations.

She added that the policy papers will be presented by experts from the Brain Trust led by former National Economic Development Authority director Dr. Ciel Habito, whose team had assisted MinDA in the formulation of the Mindanao 2020. “In line with this, the administration of President Aquino is truly committed to give Mindanao the attention it deserves in the pursuit of our social development and poverty alleviation initiatives, apart from our general thrust for inclusive growth and widely-shared economic development,” she said.

Philippine forest among world’s 10 most threatened

Abigail Kwok
Posted 02/02/2011

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is among the 10 areas in the world with the most at-risk forest areas, posing a danger to endemic species and could affect the livelihood of local residents, the group Conservation International said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the group identified the other areas as Indo-Burma, New Zealand, Sundaland, Atlantic Forest, Mountains of Southwest China, Cape Floristic Province, Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa, Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands and Eastern Afromontane.

These areas, each harboring at least 1,500 endemic plant species, have lost 90 percent or more of their forest cover.

“If these forests are lost, those endemic species are also lost forever,” the conservation group said in a statement.

The list was released to commemorate the International Year of Forests as the group underscored the need to protect the world’s forests and make sure that their pivotal role on biodiversity conservation, climate stabilization and economic development is not undervalued.

“Forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate to give room to pastures, agricultural land, mineral exploitation and sprawling urban areas, but by doing so we are destroying our own capacity to survive,” said Olivier Langrand, CI’s international policy chief.

Forests, which now cover only 30 percent of the planet’s surface, are home to 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. About 1.6 billion people directly depend on healthy forests for livelihood.

“Forests must be seen as more than just a group of trees. Forests give us vital benefits. They already play an enormous economic role in the development of many countries as a source of timber, food, shelter and recreation, and have an even greater potential that needs to be realized in terms of water provision, erosion prevention and carbon sequestration,” Langrand said.