Y-Speak: Mindanao now

Sun Star • December 08, 2018

MINDANAO has always been left behind in terms of economic growth and prosperity compared to Luzon and Visayas. This is because the numbers of investors in Mindanao is low compared to the other two island groups.

Statistics from the World Development Indicators of World Bank displayed that Mindanao's average growth since 1975 to 2014 was 3.4 percent. 

However, Luzon has 4.1 percent, and Visayas has 3.9 percent; the National Capital Region with 4.3 percent and the national average of 3.9 percent.

With few investors in Mindanao, unemployment and poverty are visible leaving some people in Mindanao deprived of luxurious life.

The Philippines Mindanao Jobs Report also specified that in year 2012, 3.7 million fishermen and farmers were considered living near poverty line and 1.2 million were food-poor, 1.1 million were categorized as poor, and 1.4 million were almost poor.

Entrepreneurs and foreign investors are terrified in investing their money in Mindanao due to the threats and security reasons. The fear of bankruptcy made the investors prefer to capitalize in Luzon and Visayas. They feared that if they choose to invest in Mindanao their money will disappear like bubbles.

Right now, Duterte’s administration is putting extra effort in inviting foreign and local investors to invest in Mindanao. He even promised to develop a friendly environment for business as he wanted more investments in Mindanao.

President Duterte said in his speech that he assures the private partners in taking measures in guaranteeing easy business in Mindanao. He also said that he intended to establish an environment that is more conducive for investments to flourish and for existing businesses to grow.

According to the data conducted by Prime Philippines Research and Consultancy on the willingness of the investors to invest in Mindanao specifically Davao, there is still a positive feedback even after the occurrence of Martial Law in Mindanao. High numbers of investors are still optimistic in putting further businesses in Mindanao.

According to Jet Yu, Prime Philippines founder and managing director, the survey categorized the investors in three groups: The Davao-based investors with present investments in Davao said that 83.3 percent is still willing to invest in Davao; the Luzon and Visayas-based investors who are currently investing in Davao with 60 percentage: and the Luzon and Visayas-based investors without zero property of investment in Davao with 33.3 percent.

Efforts of the administration in rebuilding Mindanao continues to create positive outcome to the Mindanaons like high employment rate. Davao Region employment rate reached to 94.1 percent as of January 2017 according to the recent Labor Force Survey that was announced by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

For the whole of Mindanao, Soccsksargen and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao logged the highest employment rate with 95.7 percent.

It is now the time to erase bad impressions about Mindanao and start to make marks in economic growth just like Luzon and Visayas. With rich resources, Mindanao can do it too.

With new opportunities opened for Mindanao, it will also open development in the island that would be beneficial for everyone. It is time to change and remove all misconceptions about Mindanao because, in the end, only Filipinos can help Philippines to become prosperous and economically stable

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Pia Aguirre
Manager - Corporate Communications, Commercial Property Investments
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