“This meeting is one of the efforts of the Autonomous Regional Government that will spur economic development in the region,” Atty. Ishak V. Mastura, Economic Growth and Linkages (EGL) Cluster Chairperson and Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) Managing Head, stressed in his opening remarks during the conduct of the EGL Meeting held last September 8, 2015 at the RPDO Conference Hall, ARMM Compound, Cotabato City.
“We should continue to partner with the economic investors such as UNIFRUTTI for the development of economic opportunities and investments to improve the quality of life,” Atty. Mastura added.
Engr. Baintan A. Ampatuan, Executive Director of the RPDO said that UNIFRUTTI is here not just to provide livelihood and job generation interventions but also to address environmental conflict in the region.
“The Mindanao is the food basket for the Philippines, and we want to restore the degraded forests in the country. With restoration, livelihood programs will be abundant in the region,” said Mr. John Perrine, CEO of UNIFRUTTI.
Mr. Perrine underscored their company’s approach to investment which is “The One Stop Shop Model” on inclusive and comprehensive development integrating plans/projects for ARMM.
He also said that the One Stop Shop Model pushes for a more holistic community development and livelihood creation.
The UNIFRUTTI in their presentation during the meeting has now 2,600 Banana Farm Expansion project, the One Stop Shop Model with components on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, Land Sourcing and Documentation, and Actualizing their Vision through Partnership with Hineleban Foundation, and Summary of Potential Corporate Investors and Contract Growing Projects in the ARMM.
The UNIFRUTTI's project will develop 2,600 hectares of Cavendish banana plantations in the province of Maguindanao, ARMM over a period of four years starting in 2015, and provide farm/packing house sites in Talayan, Guindulungan, Paitan and Buldon/Barira/Matanog. It will also provide employment of locals with the minimum of 1.5 persons per hectare to 1.8 persons per hectare for a total of 3,900 to 4,680, and will support the long-term sustainable peace & development in the Bangsamoro.
The EGL meeting was attended by UNIFRUTTI, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and various regional line agencies to include the Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Regional Board of Investment (RBOI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Regional Port Management Authority (RPMA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Tourism (DOT), Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Regional Economic Zone Authority (REZA), and Freeport of Polloc and Economic Zone (FPEZ).
EGL Cluster is one of the convergence strategies of ARMM under the cabinet cluster that aims to attain the national goal of reducing poverty rates and creating quality employment.