COTABATO CITY: The Regional Board of Investments of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RBOI-BARMM) has conducted an on-site survey on four big processing companies in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao to determine the status of business and investments of various firms affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
RBOI-BARMM governor Mohammad Pasigan said the June 2-3 survey aims to identify the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the businesses and see what assistance the BARMM can provide for them.
On June 2, a team led by Pasigan visited the Matling Industrial and Commercial Corporation (MICC), a cassava plantation and cassava starch producer, and the Hong Kong Feng Sheng Heritage Philippines Inc., an abaca fiber processor, both located in the province of Lanao del Sur.
The following day, June 3, the team visited Mactan Rock TGV Corporation — a water filtration plant, and the JMI Sand, Gravel, and Trucking Services Corporation in Maguindanao province.
Luzallile Mancilla, MICC chief production officer, said their sales were badly affected by the implementation of community quarantine, adding that even their company’s supply of raw materials was dwindling not just because of the Covid-19 restrictions but also due to the poor weather condition.
“Due to extreme drought, our company-owned hydropower plant was shut off, which made us instead use expensive diesel,” she said. Pasigan said a similar onsite survey will also be conducted by the RBOI on registered business firms in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
“The results of the surveys will be consolidated and relayed to BARMM chief minister Ahod Ebrahim for appropriate actions,” Pasigan said.
He said the site monitoring survey was also conducted in compliance with Executive Order No. 226 otherwise known as the Omnibus Investment Code of 1987.
Post-lockdown recovery plan
For registered firms in the region to cope up, RBOI proposed a recovery plan dubbed “Promotion of Investment Sustainability Organization in BARMM” or the PISO-BARMM, which aims to address the economic realities and consequences brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
RBOI-BARMM chair Ishak Mastura described the PISO-BARMM concept as simple, noting that BARMM is home to several agricultural processors who produce semi-processed or finished products at industrial scale.
“The PISO-BARMM will try to match farmers and farmer cooperatives with the identified agricultural processors, which are registered investors in the BARMM so that sources of raw materials production can be ramped up on a more industrial scale than that is currently practiced,” Mastura said.
He pointed out that key agricultural processors in the BARMM are beneficiaries of fiscal incentives from the RBOI.
He said the RBOI also plans to give fiscal incentives to registered investors who will expand their production under the PISO-BARMM program.
(PNA/ Albashir Saiden/ SRNY/ RSP)