WITH the increasing investors’ interest to do business in Mindanao, a Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) executive said there is a need for more economic zones (ecozones) on the island.

“We do hope that there are Mindanao ecozones applications in the Office of the President and we hope that these application will be acted on by the government and that these will be proclaimed soon, especially now that Mindanao needs these ecozones,” DCCCII trustee and former president Maria Lourdes Monteverde said Wednesday, June 26, during Habi at Kape media forum.

“We had been doing our part in bringing the investors, the government should also make it in such a way that investors can really expand their business here in Davao with the proclamation of ecozones,” she added.

A few days ago, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered government agencies to hasten the development of special economic zones in rural areas and put on hold ecozone approvals in Metro Manila.

“I think this is also best on our part to capitalize on what the President says on more ecozones, more rural developments. We hope that more will be coming from Davao,” Monteverde said.

Meanwhile, Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) public relations head Adrian Tamayo said in a text message to SunStar Davao Thursday, June 27, that the role of ecozones in Mindanao is important because it will provide catalytic growth in the rural areas through jobs generation and effective value-adding activities on products.

He added that in effect, it will command a better price for commodities.

“As large firms relocate operations in the ecozones they get to enjoy tax holidays and exemptions from some government fees. In the short run, the construction of warehouses, buildings and factories will employ surplus labor of agriculture, fishery, forestry,” Tamayo said.

Tamayo said that with ecozones and industrial developments, employment and productivity will improve while new value-adding activities will be committed.

“All these are reliable barometers of growth that will be inclusive, re-distributive and largely participatory,” he said.


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