(May 2, 2016, Cotabato City). The Regional Board of Investments (RBOI), of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) conducted last Wednesday (April 27) the 3rd leg of its region wide 2016 ARMM Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) Consultation and Roadshow. This time, RBOI chose the Municipality of Upi which is 38 kilometers away from Cotabato City as venue for the said activity.
IPP discussions focused on the investment opportunities in Upi which is an agriculture rich area with tri-people culture (Teduray, Moro and Settlers). One of the identified investment potentials in the Municipality of Upi to be tapped and supported is the development of the rubber industry given the area’s fertile lands and good climatic conditions.
Upi Business Club President, Mr. Mario G. Debolgado said that in order for the rubber industry in Upi to prosper there is a need for a processing plant to process their yields same with coffee which is also a major industry in Upi. Mr. Debolgado further said that Upi now has its Local Investment Code as a policy tool to attract investors.
Lawyer, Ishak V. Mastura, Chairman of RBOI said that the Municipality of Upi is a good place to invest, aside from a its peaceful environment, the local government has been a recipient of various awards, to name a few are the Seal of Good Housekeeping from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Civil Service Commission (CSC) Seal of Excellence, and many more. “This confirms that this municipality has been practicing good governance, which is exactly what investors want to have in the areas where they intend to put their investments”. “The Upi local government is ready to handle investors. It is also essential to have some push from partner ARMM agencies like RBOI to help promote and link the area to local and foreign investors”, Mastura added.
ARMM Governor Mujiv S. Hataman said that bringing these consultations to the local communities is very important. “This is to reach out to those at the grassroots so we would know what they think , what they want us to do and how they can help us to make it happen. We can include these ideas into our future economic strategies and policies or integrate these in our existing plans”. “Public participation in planning the development of the region is one of our core values in our present system of governance” Hataman further said.
RBOI speakers presented the economic activities in the 2016 IPP ARMM List as basis for the granting of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. RBOI presentations also included the IPP implementing guidelines and the processes and requirements for RBOI registration. The Regional Planning Development Office (RPDO) represented by Macro Economic Planning Division Chief, Melanie Indar reported on the current socio-economic developments in ARMM while OIC-Manager of Polloc Freeport and Ecozone and REZA Director, Eshan Mabang encouraged the businessmen from Upi to utilize the Polloc Freeport for their convenience and easy transport of products.