(DAVAO CITY, August 9) In a panel discussion of the Post-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Philippine Economic Briefing in Davao City, Vice President for Mindanao Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Acting Regional Development Council (RDC) XI Chairperson, Arturo M. Milan, identified the bright spots for the private sector in Mindanao. These cover the areas of physical and digital connectivity, water and energy resources, agriculture, and health.

Milan specifically highlighted energy security as key in boosting local and foreign investments in Mindanao. “A fundamental requirement for growth and increased employment is the availability of cheap, reliable energy,” said Milan.

Aside from energy being a driver of economic activity, he also added that its cost and reliability greatly impact other sectors such as health, infrastructure, education, transportation, and digitalization.

Milan also expressed the potential risks for the private sector in Mindanao which include climate change, inflation, and prices of fuel.

Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno in his keynote message, highlighted the structural reforms targeted to attract highly-desirable investments and employment opportunities including the Revised Renewal Energy Act Implementing Rules and Regulations.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary (USec.) Joseph J. Capuno, who was also present in the same event, affirmed the government’s commitment to creating a favorable investment climate through infrastructure development in key sectors including energy.

USec. Capuno also emphasized the Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs) as growth drivers. According to the DOF, 76 of the 194 IFPs in the country are located in Mindanao. These include the Mindanao Railway Project, Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge, Davao City Expressway, Panguil Bay Bridge, Davao Public Transport Modernization Project, Bukidnon Airport, New Siargao Sayak Airport, and New Zamboanga Airport, among others. (Katrina M. Sanchez, EDS I, DRD)