MANILA, Philippines – Investments in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) increased by 157 percent in 2013 due to the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the ARMM’s Regional Board of Investments (RBOI-ARMM) said.
Ishak Mastura, the chairman of the RBOI-ARMM, said investments reached P1.4 billion last year, compared to only P569 million in 2012.
"We attribute this significant increase in investments to the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),” said Mastura, adding that the agreement boosted investor confidence in doing business in the region.
Four new businesses were also registered in the region last year, with mineral development being the biggest contributor to the growth.
“It’s worth noting that the more than P1 billion worth of investments recorded last year generated 1,743 jobs for the people of ARMM,” said Mastura.
The ARMM government also launched fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for new investments to attract more businesses to the region.
"Governance reforms in ARMM has not only contributed to the overall peace and security situation in the region, but has also increased investor confidence as shown by this positive development," said Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairperson Luwalhati Antonino.
ARMM received P8.59 billion funding under the national government’s Transition Investment Support Plan (TISP).
Around P2.8 billion of the funds were allocated for infrastructure projects.
MinDA is also implementing a spatial development framework called the Mindanao Development Corridors, which aims to achieve connectivity through the development of intermodal transport systems and the strengthening of logistics for growing industries.
“A well-placed connectivity infrastructure will allow ARMM’s top exports sourced mainly from rural areas to expediently reach urban centers for processing and marketing, and arrive at our export gateways faster and in better shape,” Antonino said.