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Silk Road eyes investments in Mindanao, Palawan

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A concrete but still seldom used highway in Talakag, Bukidnon. January 4, 2019. MindaNews file photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 February) – Chinese firm Silk Road Investment HK has expressed interest to invest in Palawan and Mindanao, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) public relations head Adrian Tamayo said.

Tamayo said on Monday that MinDA Secretary Abul Khayr D. Alonto held a meeting with Madam Lam Guo, chairman of the Silk Road Investment HK, at his office in Davao City on Monday where he bannered the potential investment opportunities in Mindanao, particularly medical tourism, power infrastructure, real estate, and retirement facilities.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Provincial Government of Palawan last year that would pave the way for the entry of Chinese investments in similar areas, according to Tamayo.

He said the Chinese have yet to identify specific commitments for Mindanao and Palawan as they are still in the exploratory stage but added, “what is certain is that, investments will pour in Palawan area, then hoping in the coming few months, Mindanao LGUs will be partnered with these investors.”

He said MinDA presented its priority projects and programs for Mindanao, particularly on infrastructure development, highlighting the Metro Davao Urban Master Plan.

The master plan, created by urban planner Arch. Felino Palafox, includes identifying the comparative strengths and functional roles of the different areas within Metro Davao with the end-goal of complementation and alignment of policies, programs and projects; identifying solutions to shared challenges including transport efficiency, provision of urban services, among others; aiding national agencies, local government units, and the private sector in planning and implementing development endeavors within Metro Davao and its influence areas.

It also serves as a guide for local governments in updating their respective comprehensive land use plans taking into account the land use and socio-economic dynamics not only within their political boundaries but the impact and influence of adjacent areas as well; promotes and facilitates more investments and economic activities within Metro Davao and the adjacent areas; and supports the creation of more formal alliances between the local governments especially on matters pertaining to policies and regulations.

The MinDA has also identified 12 catalytic programs for Mindanao such as the 2,135-km Trans-Mindanao High Speed Railway System worth P753.5 billion; Marawi rehabilitation for livelihood and business development, land resource management, and social services that would need P 16 billion; P42 billion for the establishment of Agro-Economic Zones in Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Agusan del Sur, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan; and P15 billion for the Tawi-Tawi Integrated Development Project/Ecozone;

P25 billion for Picong FreePort and Ecozone in Picong, Lanao del Sur; P39.2 billion for the Mindanao River Basin Integrated Flood Control Projects; P300 million for the proposed Mindanao Executive Leadership Academy in Maramag, Bukidnon; P75 billion for the MinDC Interregional Connectivity Projects comprising roads and bridges;

P100 million for Tourism Assistance Center in 20 strategic areas in Mindanao; P9.8 billion for New Zamboanga Airport in Mercedes, Zamboanga City; and P100 million for Polloc Freeport and Ecozone in Polloc, Maguindanao; and P9.8 billion for General Santos Aerotropolis that is still recommended for a feasibility study. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)

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