ARMM To Study Best Practices For Ethical Investments In Bukidnon

  Mar 5, 2017    

Cotabato City. Despite the continuing risks in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), it has lately for the past years been enjoying a spurt in investments. Its biggest foreign investments took place in 2015 with Unifrutti’s P3.7 billion banana plantation in Maguindanao Province.
A delegation from the ARMM regional government led by the Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) will be attending a study visit in Bukidnon on March 6 to 9, 2017 to be facilitated by the Hineleban Foundation Inc. (HFI). The HFI has worked with Unifrutti Philippines Inc. on ethical investment practices.
The educational trip is part of the capability building component of the Brokering Business Investments in the Bangsamoro to Achieve Inclusive Development and Growth or the BRIDGe Project which is being implemented by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Hineleban Foundation Inc. in collaboration with RBOI-ARMM.  
RBOI Chairman lawyer, Ishak V. Mastura, said that the activity is an initial step of the documentation process for the setting up of the Business Sustainability Framework in the Bangsamoro (BSFB), the backbone of the BRIDGe Project.  “The BSFB intends to strengthen the capacity of RBOI to facilitate the development of the Bangsamoro-specific business investment standards and protocols that will empower both the communities and business to engage into sustainable business enterprise”, Mastura further said.  
The learning visit will enable the participants to familiarize with the concept and components of the Business Sustainability Framework (BSF), boost appreciation on the practical application of the BSF as part of the business model of the Unifrutti Tropical Philippines, Incorporated (UTPI) and explore application areas for the BSF in the ARMM. 
ARMM will study how Unifrutti’s banana plantations operations which spill-over into the two ARMM Municipalities of Wao and Bumbaran, Lanaodel Sur, have managed to invest in those areas with sustainable investment practices both ecologically and socio-culturally. 
Highlights of the trip include community interactions and field visits to Unifrutti’s assisted projects through HFI particularly at Tuminugan Farm where the participants will be exposed to  coffee, reforestation, bamboo and demo farm projects,  also in the itinerary is a site visit at Tagbak Food Security  Project.
ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, on his part said that the BRIDGe project is a milestone accomplishment of his administration. “It’s about time that we define the role and behavior of corporations and partner-communities who wish to make sustainable and responsible agribusiness investments in the ARMM” Hataman further said.  
Relevant ARMM agencies at the same time members of the Economic Growth and Linkage Cluster (EGL)   such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) will also be participating in the benchmarking initiative. (SOURCE: RBOI)