MINDANAO: Peace still an issue with investors: exec
PRIME Philippines Kristianne Fusilero | Mindanao Times January 25, 2018
THE VOLATILITY of the peace and order situation in Mindanao has remained a challenge to attract businesses, a top official of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) said.
In the Mindanao Business Briefing on Tuesday at Seda Abreeza Hotel, ECCP president Guenter Taus said in his speech that the national government has to take swift action to address the peace and order situation in the island.
This, he said, has to be addressed to attract firms to put up their investments.
“As a chamber of commerce, our mandate is to encourage businesses and investors from Europe to consider investment destinations in the Philippines such as Davao. However, I must highlight that it becomes increasingly difficult for us to do so as the peace and order situation continues to remain volatile and the region remains under Martial Law,” Taus said.
The ECCP conducted a one-day Mindanao Business Briefing on Tuesday in partnership with real estate consultancy firm Prime Philippines at Seda Abreeza Hotel.
Local businesses, however, said that although there was an impact of Martial Law declaration during the first few months of its declaration last year, the situation, at least in the city, has slowly gone back to normal.
“The situation has improved based on our numbers,” said Ricardo F. Lagdameo, vice president of Damosa Land Inc
Lt. General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, said they are boosting their efforts to address the peace and order in the island. He said the extension of the Martial Law in the island is “to ensure total eradication of Daesh-inspired Da’awaful Islamiyah and other likeminded terrorist groups.”
“As of Jan. 20, we implemented 28 arrest orders, arrested 41 violators of Republic Act 10591 or Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and installed 105,026 checkpoints both mobile and fixed,” Madrigal said.
Meanwhile, the ECCP also urged the local government to bolster the support for the investors especially on the need to uphold international business standards that would attract companies from Europe.
“We want to continue to make a strong case for Davao in that is a very viable destination for international businesses, and we need your help to make this happens on the ground. If we want business to support Davao, Davao must support business,” Taus said.
Lemuel Ortonio, head of Davao City Investment Promotion Center, said businesses are welcome to venture in the city. He said businesses can also avail of the fiscal incentives if their investments fall any of the investment priority areas.
Under the Investment Incentive Code, a business can have a three-year tax break in business tax and two-year tax holiday in real property tax. A five year tax holiday on business tax and real property tax can be availed if firms would venture in the preferred districts such as Paquibato, Marilog, Calinan and Baguio.
The code cited that the companies can avail of fiscal if the project is into agri-business, tourism and recreation facilities, light manufacturing assembly, property development, health and wellness, educational and sports facilities, environment protection and green projects, information and communication technology, energy projects, transportation and infrastructure and public-private partnership projects.
Ortonio said they also noted an increase of interests from foreign and local investors to put up their investments in the city. He said those showed that the companies remained optimistic to do business in the city.