A Philippine Investment Milestone: Sulu gets its first registered outside investment

(Cotabato City. December 14, 2018) The Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) recently approved the application of Sulu Food and Beverage Corporation (SFBC) to registerwith the agency their food and beverages manufacturing project worth Php8million in Indanan, Sulu.


The investment is backed by Destileria Limtuaco, one of the oldest food and beverage companies in the country, established 166 years ago.


It is the first time that Sulu received an outside investment and the first outside investment to be registered in Sulu by the RBOI. Initially, the Board of Investments in Manila referred the investor to the RBOI.


According to RBOI chair and managing head, lawyer Ishak Mastura, this is an investment milestone for the country because Sulu, as one of the most conflict-affected areas in the country, was previously considered a "no go zone" for investors.


“With the registration of this investment project in Sulu, all five provinces in the ARMM now have registered investments with the RBOI, which is unprecedented and has never happened before except now under the tenure of ARMM Regional Governor Hataman”, added Mastura.


The approval of the project by the RBOI will allow the company to avail of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives like income tax holidays (ITH), reduced duties for importation of capital equipment, exemption from wharfage dues for export, among others upon start of their commercial operations.


On the basis of its submission to the RBOI, the company will engage in the preparation, processing, manufacture, packaging, selling and distribution of high quality foods, food products and beverages intended for import and export markets. It will also engage in farming and trading of agricultural products on commercial and wholesale basis.


SFBC will put up a food factory plant including a buying station and warehousing at Indanan, Sulu, that will process the province’s best tropical organic fruits such as mangosteen, coconut and durian into jams and other finished goods under the brand of Sulu Tropical Original Fruit Jams.


This year, RBOI has registered total of Php2.254 billion worth of investment projects and is expected to create total of 1,510 jobs.


Top investor in 2018 is ChocoInvest Corporation investing on a Php1.016 billionIntegrated Cacao Plantation in Buldon, Maguindanao, second is Mina Vida De Mindanao Corporation with Php940 million investments on nickel ore mining project in Languyan, Tawi-Tawi, third is Eka Salam Agriventures Corporation investing Php 290 million on banana cavendish plantation in Ampatuan, Maguindanao and most recently, the Sulu Food and Beverage Corporation.


ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman in a statement said that project is very timely and relevant considering that Sulu is an untapped gem in Mindanao. “With its suitable soil and rainfall good for growingexotic tropical fruits, the investment in Sulu of a food processing plant will add value and provide much needed jobs. This will also pave the way for the province to exploit the local and global markets at the same time ensuring sustainability of peace and economic growth, especially nowthat we are about to start the transition from the present ARMM to the Bangsamoro Organic Law next year”, Hataman further said. (Source:RBOI)