STREET MUSICIANS. A father and son set up their makeshift sound system to prepare for the day’s work. They will play tunes in exchange for loose change for the entire day. (Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY — The independent think tank, Ibon Foundation, agreed that the victory of President Rodrigo Duterte delivered a boost to the investment leads in Davao region, but doubted that the gains will trickle down to the marginalized sector.

In a phone interview economist, Sonny Africa of Ibon Foundation, told Davao Today that the benefit of the Dabawenyos on the region’s upbeat investments still depends on the companies owned by foreign investors.

“Kung maraming foreign firms na gagamitin lang ang cheap labor ang Dabawenyo, or gagamitin lamang ang natural resources, agri- resources ng Davao, malaking chance na minimal lang ang magiging pangkalahatang pakinabang ng mga taga-Davao (If most of the foreign firms will only take advantage of the cheap labor of Dabawenyos, or they will just only use the natural resources, agricultural resources of Davao, then there is a big chance that the people will only get a minimal of the overall benefit of the investment gains),” he said.

“More than that, it will also depend because the government of the city still have to give incentives to the investors,” Africa said.

“Kasi kung panay naman ang incentives like hindi na nagbabayad ng buwis, or kung may exemptions sa pagbibigay ng tamang sahod or pagfacilitate sa pagset-up ng negosyo na maaring lumabag sa mga environmental requirements baka hindi makatulong (If there is a constant giving of incentives like allowing them not to pay taxes, exemption in providing right salary to the workers or facilitate them to set up business that may violate to the environment requirement then maybe it will not help),” Africa said.

Africa said that if the companies will abide by the laws then there is a chance that it will benefit the people in the city.

Recently, Gil M. Dureza, head of Board of Investments (BOI)-Davao Extension Office announced that the investment leads in Davao region reached up to P886.75 billion as of June in the region.

He said that the investment leads of the investors are mostly manufacturing (petrochemical/integrated steel) with P742 billion, BPO with P160 million, mass housing projects with P510 million, port development and infrastructure with P3 billion, power generation with P49 billion, resource based- agriculture and public-private partnership (PPP) projects with P39 billion.

Dureza said that Duterte’s prior statement of amending the 60-40 Constitutional prohibition on foreign ownership of businesses gave an interest to the foreign investors.

The BOI said the investments already reached P88 billion for January, P9.312 billion in February; P2.07 billion in March; P5.922 billion in April; P1.645 billion in May and P799.810 in June.

Dureza said their office is now “overheating” with investors, “months before the election up until now.”

“It is a hot investments this time in Davao, it does not only cover the Davao region, but all throughout Mindanao and some projects that wants to set up here are some regional offices  that can operate nationwide,” he said.

Dureza said that companies are interested in iron and steel integrated operation, business process outsourcing (BPO) “and the regular thing like the mass housing infrastructure, power generation and agricultural resource base projects.”

In the past five years, Dureza said that the region is regularly moving up through the help of the new investors. (davaotoday.com)

comments powered by Disqus