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Marawi crisis won’t stop ARMM investments as indicated by newly-registered P129-M port services project

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COTABATO CITY (RBOI-ARMM / 10 Aug) –  A Php129 million port related services project was recently approved for registration by the Regional Board of Investments, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RBOI-ARMM). The Bangsamoro Terminal Services Inc. (BTSI) based at Polloc Freeport, Parang, Maguindanao invested in this project to provide efficient logistics support to the thriving businesses in the provinces of ARMM such as Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, also the provinces of North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, both in Central Mindanao including Cotabato City.

Polloc Freeport, Parang, Maguindanao. (Photo from ARMM website)

Chairman and Managing Head of RBOI, lawyer Ishak Mastura said that with the addition of BTSI, the worth of investments registered with RBOI this 2017 is now totaled to Php3.2 billion. “This signifies an uninterrupted growth of investments in the region despite the Marawi crisis. The company’s reliable services of delivering the goods to customers on time and in right condition have strengthen local businesses. Cargo handling is very critical in the logistics and supply chain, problems in the cargo movement will cause delays and will cost a lot of money to enterprises”, Mastura further said.

Originally, the cargo handling company was owned by PTC Mindanao Port Services Inc. (MPSI) organized in Manila in 1979. At that time, the company operated at Polloc Port, Parang, Maguindanao then expanded its operations in Zamboanga City. PTC-MPSI rendered arrastre, stevedoring, other port related services and eventually entered into trucking business. The first Chairman of its Board of Directors was former Philippine president, Fidel V. Ramos.

It was in 2014 that PTC-MPSI offered to sale the company to Lamsan Holdings Corporation. In March 2015, Lamsan took over the management after acquiring 100 percent of its shares of stocks including the Cargo Handling Contract with the Regional Ports Authority (RPA). In February 2016,   with the approval of the Securities of Exchange Commission (SEC), the new management changed its name from PTC-MPSI to now BTSI.

According to BTSI Manager Luigi Piccolo V. Peña, the company is a holder of a 15-year Management Contract with the Regional Ports Management Authority (RPMA) for its operations at Polloc Freeport from May 2007 to April 2022.  Major shipping lines are being served by the company among these are the Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corporation formerly Sulpicio Lines and Lorenzo Shipping Corp., also Minrico Lumber Enterprises for domestic trade. As for foreign trade, the company services Lamsan Inc., Bonjourno Trading, Holcim Philippines, Inc. and Avigail Hardware. BTSI also provides trucking services to shippers utilizing the Polloc Freeport. At present, the company employs 232 workers.

ARMM Regional Governor, Mujiv Hataman welcomed this new investment. “The project will effectively impact the flow of goods and services. This will make the businesses strong within towns and cities in ARMM and Central Mindanao bringing more jobs into these areas”, Hataman said.

Firms that register their investment with RBOI are entitled to fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, such as Income Tax Holiday, duty free importation of capital equipment including genetic stock material, exemption from wharfage dues, use of custom-bonded warehouse and streamlined custom procedures and issuance of investor visa for foreign nationals, among others. (RBOI-ARMM)


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