BARMM okays P200-M investments in Cotabato City
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Philippines — The economy of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is off to a good start in 2022 with close to P200 million of new investments during the first week of the year.
The two investments, which have been approved for incentives by the Regional Board of Investments (RBOI), are all in Cotabato City, the BARMM’s seat of government.
RBOI chair Ishak Mastura said the agency approved the registration of Pagana Kutawato Corp. (PKC) and Hanabana Construction and Equipment Corp. (HCEC) during its meeting on Jan. 5.
PKC is investing P100.2 million to develop a “one-stop shop” property that features a hotel, halal certified restaurant, mini-grocery store and laundry shop, among others.
It will build its hotel and restaurant using container vans.
“Our purpose of expanding our hotels and restaurants [with] a new innovative design is to cope with the increasing demand of our visitors on accommodations and food,” said lawyer Anwar Malang, owner of PKC.
Malang was also aiming to promote their halal native food and delicacies in the city to boost tourism-related industries in the area.
As for HCEC, the RBOI said it would provide a bulk water supply and treatment facility for Cotabato City and nearby municipalities. This project is worth P96.3 million and will generate 83 jobs.
Samim Yusoph, HCEC coordinator, said they were contracted by Metro Cotabato Water District (MCWD) to build a bulk source of potable water.
He said MCWD would not pay for the use of their equipment but the projected 7,000 cubic meters of water it would provide to the city’s consumers would be payable monthly.
“This is a good start for the year and we hope that more investments will come to [the] BARMM this year in order to make up for the jobs lost and economic activity curtailed by the [COVID-19] pandemic,” Mastura said in a statement.
Last year, Cotabato City, which voted for inclusion in the BARMM during the 2019 plebiscite to ratify the region’s charter, registered investments worth almost P400 million, Mastura noted.
With investors pouring their money into Cotabato City, Mastura said the regional capital could be the potential game changer in the investment profile of the Bangsamoro region, particularly for foreign banks and other financial institutions focused on Islamic banking, using the city as their gateway to the Philippines.
Mastura added that only the BARMM has the capacity to provide incentives to investors at the regional level.
In 2021, the Bangsamoro region approved investments worth P2.8 billion, dwarfing the P14 million worth of investment registered in 2020, RBOI records showed.
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