According to Milbie Guiang-Daguro, investment officer of Sarangani, this forum was a prelude to a business matching in November between Sarangani and private investors.
During the forum, the Board of Investments (BOI) also shared initial results of their ground work in looking for companies interested to invest in Sarangani.
BOI Assistant Secretary Felicitas Agoncillo-Reyes lauded the provincial government for initiating the forum as she admitted it to be her first time to see the convergence of municipalities in the pursuit of “growing together.”
In her speech, Reyes pointed out the need to “invest on the people and their community.” She called it an inclusive business she further described as pro-poor and pro-business.
In government, Reyes said, “we call it a pull from the top.”
She said despite the robust growth of the Gross Domestic Product averaging at 6.7 percent in 2017, poverty still persists that is why “the whole bureaucracy now has been challenged to reduce poverty from 21.6 percent to 14 percent” estimated to be around 9 million people below the subsistence level.
To respond to this, Reyes said the Department of Trade and Industry has been carrying out different programs in trying to help Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to grow wherein particularly the medium and large enterprises will be given incentives so they can pull up micro and small enterprises who are composed of people at the base of the pyramid.
Piddig, Ilocos Norte’s former Mayor Eddie Guillen, being recognized as the proponent of one of the country’s successful inclusive business models, also shared their experience on managing their program on inclusive agriculture and sustainable development which would serve as inputs later to the chief executives in crafting their own plans on the expansion of agri projects in municipal settings.
Particularly for Sarangani, Guillen stressed on having a convergence project wherein “lahat ng stakeholders maka-contribute, not only the private sectors but lahat ng government agencies makatulong. In our case, ginawa namin ang environmental protection as our common shared goal.”
Citing Sarangani as the front door of BIMP- EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) and with the fertile soil, Guillen said there is no reason why Sarangani could not also replicate the Piddig program and do even better.
Piddig had succeeded on their consolidated farm production system like in their Inclusive Organic Coffee Production Convergence Project that benefited not only the farmers but even the poor sector whom they engaged as supplier of organic fertilizer.
For his part, Sarangani chairperson on economic affairs Board Member George Falgui mentioned that Sarangani has “forged various partnerships with public and private entities to strengthen (our) programs that promote economic activities, create jobs and uplift the lives of (our) people.” (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)