Cotabato City (PIA) -- Midway through the year, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has already exceeded its 2013 registered investments,  according to its Regional Board of Investments (RBOI).


In a statement sent to the Philippine Information Agency, the RBOI- ARMM reported that they have already amassed P1.621 billion worth of investments in the first semester, surpassing their 2013 portfolio of P1.463 billion.


This is after RBOI approved Agumil Philippines, Inc.’s registration of Oil Palm Kernel  Crushing Plant in Buluan, Maguindanao with a project cost of P170 million.


Agumil has added to the P1.451 billion investment generated during the first quarter of this year, namely: Lamsan Power Corporation’s P921.56 million biomass renewable energy investment, SR Languyan Mining Corporation’s P520 million nickel ore mining project,  and ABSCOR Multi-Trading  Company’s  P 10 million  import and export trading business.


Agumil Philippines Inc., a Filipino-Malaysian company is registered with RBOI since 2006 and is engaged in oil palm milling, mainly exporting its products to Malaysia. It is operating an oil palm mill with a capacity of 45 tons per hour in Buluan, Maguindanao.


In the process of Agumil’s operation until to date, the company has accumulated a sizable amount of quality palm kernels which is enough to process into Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) for export and Palm Kernel Cake (PKC) for animal feeds.


This has prompted the company to construct a crushing plant also near the milling plant to make profitable use of these kernels. The Palm Kernel Crushing Plant is expected to generate 500 cyclical construction workers and 54 new jobs.


Agumil, aside from being a business partner of over 6,000 oil palm out growers in Maguindanao and nearby areas, is also expected to put up a biomass power plant to support the energy needs of their milling and crushing plants within 2014 or early next year, and the excess power will be sold to the national transmission grid, according to the same report.


RBOI Chairman Atty. Ishak V. Mastura foresees that big local companies will continue to invest to take advantage of the positive business sentiment in the region and the relative stability brought about by the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front early this year. 


Bangsamoro is the new political entity to be established as a result of the peace agreement ending decades of insurgency and violent political conflict in Mindanao. 


Mastura added that “Investors view this peace agreement as a removal of the major risk of flare-up of violent political conflict and insurgency in the region.  We are bullish that investments in ARMM will exceed 2-Billion pesos this year for the first time as a result.”


Agumil will be provided by RBOI with Income Tax Holidays (ITH) for 6 years at the start of their commercial operations and other fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the company’s socio-economic contributions to the development of the region.


ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman has encouraged more and more private investments in the region due to his commitment to the stability of the region as shown by his unconditional support of the peace agreement and due to the investor-friendly policies that he has put in place. 


“We are spending heavily in government infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and ports in order to make it easy for investors to bring their products to the market, not only locally but even abroad,”Hataman said. -- PIA