Eyes on Mindanao

Published September 14, 2020, 4:38 PM

by John Tria

John Tria
John Tria


As we trek on the road of safe recovery, many have taken an interest in Mindanao’s economy.

True enough, Mindanao is blessed with the resources and mild weather variations good for food production, and unhampered business and manufacturing operations.

Much of Mindanao is under MGCQ allowing eased restrictions,and higher levels of economic activity. Malls are running with new normal protocols and a good number of customers.

Mindanao’s other advantage is its proximity to ASEAN markets.

These are advantages that can help boost recovery.

Moreover, its growing manufacturing sector draws its raw materials from its resources, such as fish in General Santos and Zamboanga, coconuts for oil and activated carbon in the Davao region, limestone for cement in Nothern Mindanao. Add to that the minerals and service sector and you have a very diverse economy.

It is hoped that current and ongoing improvements in infrastructure and connectivity, technology, and innovation in agriculture and incentives from economic measures such as the proposed CREATE bill will allow Mindanao’s economy to flourish, boosting the recovering national economy, creating opportunities for companies seeking to expand locally to meet the increasing demand for essential products to meet our needs.

These discussions took the stage at the recent launch of the Mindanao Business Conference last September 10. Organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and hosted by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this year’s MINBIZCON was especially significant since it was the first fully digital conference and attracted almost 400 participants around the world.

Graced by the PCCI President Benedicto Yujuico with the keynote address by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, it kicks off a series of six different online meetings taking place over the month of September and October – Apart from agriculture and manufacturing, innovation, halal, export opportunities, as well as a session on the Balik Probinsya program.

Minbizcon 2020 has gained prominence as the eyes on Mindanao have become keener, as the comparative advantages of the island’s 26-million-strong economy have become more apparent as it plays a bigger role in the Philippine economic recovery, and the over-all growth story.

I will be writing in this column more facts and reflections about Mindanao’s key role in that story, and how it continues to unfold for us and our children.

That said, I believe it is vital that we all support the revival of our nation’s and local economies.  Let’s continue pushing for better logistics and modernized agriculture, and all help to promote growth, investments, and local business.

Voluntary Assessment Program of the BIR

Business people can now avail of voluntary assessment for previous years (2018) under BIR Revenue Regulation NO. 21-2020. It includes one time transaction taxes such as capital gains, donor’s taxes, and documentary stamp taxes. Deadline is December 31, 2020. Please visit the BIR website for details.

Improved revenues will help fund recovery efforts, including Bayanihan 2 and the proposed 2021 budget.

Forgiveness is healthy

At more than any other time in our history,and given our contentious culture that has affected our mental health and worse, that of our children, the Sunday Gospel talks about the virtue of forgiveness – something we need to do for others and ourselves. Forgiveness strengthens wellness. Wellness is not only physical; it is mental as well.

A clear, relaxed mind does wonders to achieve focus, pursue innovation; and increase the chance of business and larger recovery.

Let all help in the economic recovery effort. Stay safe everyone!

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