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28th Mindanao Business Conference Executive Report

September 17, 2019

ILIGAN CITY – The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed its satisfaction with the results of the recently concluded 28th Mindanao Business Conference held in this City of Majestic Waterfalls last September 12-14, 2019. Over 700 delegates from business, policy makers and stakeholders from government and private sector attended the three day conference organized by the PCCI and hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation of Iligan, Inc. (CCIFII) at the MSU-IIT gym in Barangay Tibanga, this city. A major milestone of the conference is the immediate response from President Duterte’s Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Karlo B. Nograles on the policy resolutions submitted by PCCI Mindanao. “We believe that the best evidence of government’s commitment to follow through on Mindanao development efforts are the Administration’s response to the 2018 MinBizCon Resolutions submitted to the President last year,” Nograles said.  “We are encouraged by the fact that many of the priorities and plans of the Administration are aligned with your concerns, and you have our assurance that the concerns you have raised are factored in the government’s ongoing programs and projects in the region,” he added. In response to the six policy agenda put forward by the PCCI to the Office of the President, Nograles, who represented President Rodrigo R. Duterte, committed to prioritize in the 2020 National Expenditure Program (NEP or Budget) the following major infrastructure projects and programs:   ·Upgrading the airport capabilities in Pagadian, Ozamiz, Tandag, Surigao, Camiguin and the expansion of the  Laguindingan Airport; · Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and a Trade (ROLL-IT) proposals from all regions in Mindanao; ·Rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi Hydro Power plants; ·Rehabilitation programs for Marawi City (livelihood, telecommunications, and other social services); and ·Packages of services and assistance for the implementation of Executive Order 70 - the Whole of Nation Approach to address peace and development in Mindanao. Target groups are geographically isolated and disadvantage areas, communities whose poverty incidence is more than 30% and conflict areas in Mindanao. “As we reach the halfway mark of the Administration, our focus is now ensuring that the programs and projects that we promised at the start of this term are being executed, if not yet completed, and will make a lasting impact on our countrymen via the many projects in Mindanao, “ Nograles said. Upgrading Mindanao Airports The night rating of the Pagadian, Ozamiz, Surigao (and Siargao), Camiguin airports are expected to be completed by 2019 to 2021. The Laguindingan Airport Original Proponent Proposal is undergoing NEDA vetting and is expected to be approved soon.  For the 2020 budget, the DOTr proposed funding for the aviation sector amounting to P 865 million for the development of airports and the upgrading of airport facilities. Of this, P100 million is allocated for the development of Laguindingan Airport. Based on the latest inspection, the November 2019 completion target for the initial 400-meter repair of the Surigao airport runway is expected to be met and the full 700-meters by February 2020. ROLL-IT Project Mindanao’s road network is being now developed by the DPWH with funds amounting to P126.86 billion. The Mindanao Road Development Network Program, covering 2,600.67 kilometers, connects the Zamboanga Peninsula, Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao and Caraga Regions. For 2020, the proposed budget for ROLL IT alone is P10.2 billion. The DOTr also proposed for FY 2020 the inclusion of P97 million for the Mindanao Railway Project. “Also requested in this resolution is the conduct of consultations on policy-making. For this, we have the Regional Dialogues (Dagyaw), currently being conducted nationwide. Dagyaw 2019: Open Government and Participatory Governance Regional Dialogues encourage participation among government agencies, the public, and other stakeholders. As a platform for engagement and convergence, each regional dialogue focuses on area-specific topics to address the issues and problems encountered in each locality,” Nograles noted.            Agus-Pulangi Rehab The Agus-Pulangi Hydropower Plant rehab was among the projects lined up for China financing after the President obtained US$9 billion official development assistance (ODA) during his visit to Beijing in October 2016. Funding for this was firmed up as part of the “second basket” of projects in September 2017, and according to the NEDA, the rehabilitation of the plant is scheduled for 2020, to be completed by 2022 Rehabilitation of Marawi City “On fast tracking the Economic Recovery of Marawi City, we cannot agree with you more that acceleration for livelihood-related interventions, supplementary support such as financing and new and better opportunities for MSMEs and in parallel, continuing capacitation of those affected to be able to take up and sustain these activities, are paramount to the rehabilitation of the city as well as to establish business resiliency,” Nograles said. Corollary to this, however, is ensuring the security and the public’s safety so that dividends from current recovery programs will not be wasted, he added.  The reconstruction and rehabilitation of 18.97 kilometers of roads in Marawi City is now ongoing. Funding from both local and foreign sources have enabled the Duterte Administration to fast track the extensive planning and preparations required for the P67.99 billion reconstruction and rehabilitation program for Marawi within just a year after government troops liberated the city. Displaced families continue to be transferred to transitory shelters built through the efforts of Task Force BangonMarawi, and have been able to avail of livelihood projects and skills training programs undertaken by different implementing agencies, development partners, CSOs and NGOs. “As we build on these efforts that continue to this day, we in government welcome the new recommendations from the MinBizCon for 2019. From the initial briefing papers provided to us, there are new projects and priorities being recommended, and we welcome your input,” Nograles noted. Executive Order 70 - the Whole of Nation Approach While underscoring the media’s role in conveying to the public this government’s policy, the EO is now paving the way for better formulation of programs by the Regional Peace and Order Councils (RPOC) hand in hand with that of the Regional Development Councils (RDC). The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has also launched its own initiatives that utilize this approach to address the root causes of insurgency, internal disturbances, and armed conflict. The Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) initiative of the Regional Development Council-Region 10 (RDC-10) and the Regional Peace and Order Council-Region 10 (RPOC-10) is the first such mechanism to pioneer this approach. Emerging Investment Destination “In the coming years, we can expect increased investments since most of the committed investments and projects committed in the early part of the Administration are now past feasibility stage and are, in fact, already being implemented,” Nograles said. The Board of Investments (BOI) reports registered investments in Mindanao increased by 420% from P18.2 billion in April 2018 to P94.7 billion in April this year. The bulk of these investments in Mindanao are in the Caraga region (P 57.87 billion); Northern Mindanao (P31.97 billion); Davao Region (P2.7 billion); and Soccsksargen (P2.1 billion pesos). These registered new investments are expected to generate at least 7,000 new jobs.

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Oro Chamber supports Orobest program that enhances industry productivity and competitiveness thru scientific tech

September 16, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Optimizing Regional Opportunities for Business Excellence through Science, Technology, and Innovation (OROBEST) is a regional program that enhances industry productivity and competitiveness through the generation and adoption of scientifically-developed technologies.   This program is a pilot endeavor of the Oro Chamber in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-X), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-X), USAID – Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE), and the academic institutions in Region 10.   According to Dr. Irene Floro, president of the Oro Chamber, “We have this innovation program in order to serve the technology innovation needs of the business establishments in our locality. We are tapping our local universities in the region that has the capacity to provide these answers through their research departments and technology centers..” After its successful launching last July 11, OROBEST Program Team conducted technology needs assessment with the small and micro-enterprises within the region as well as inventory of commercial and potential technologies from the academe. “At the moment, we are currently reaching out and prioritizing the small and micro enterprises who may have the needs to improve their technologies,” Queritess Queja, Executive Director of the Oro Chamber said. Last September 10, a Consultation with the Business Sector and Academic Institutions was held at Limketkai Luxe Hotel which identified the challenges of these sectors in terms of collaboration. The consultation also determined how these sectors can further strengthen their partnerships towards technology development and innovation.  With the positive results of the Consultation among these sectors, the Oro chamber- OROBEST program will again hold a series of activities on September 18-20, 2019, such as, Innovation Talk, Ideation and Project Design Workshops.  

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Belmont Hotel Manila Bags Prestigious World Luxury Hotel Plum

September 10, 2019

Belmont Hotel Manila, one of seven acclaimed hotel brands in the country’s premier entertainment and lifestyle destination Resorts World Manila (RWM), reaped yet another international recognition as one of the winners of The World Luxury Hotel Awards this year.  Belmont-Facade Defining excellence in global hospitality since 2006, the World Luxury Hotel Awards gather votes from over 300,000 international hotel guests in a four-week span to determine the top brands that connote luxury and the finest quality service for the year.   Belmont Hotel Manila was nominated in three of the award-giving body’s over 100 categories, including Luxury Airport Hotel category for being conveniently located in front of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 and easily accessible via the upscale pedestrian footbridge Runway Manila; Luxury Business Hotel category as voted by travelers who mix work, play, and pleasure; and Luxury City Hotel category highlighting Belmont Hotel Manila’s proximity to RWM and its many offerings. Last year, the brand was likewise recognized as the Airport Hotel of the Year by the Travel and Hospitality Awards.  Belmont Hotel Manila is a 10-storey business hotel with 470 well-appointed room, and features the all-day restaurant Café Belmont, fitness center with sauna, steam room and shower areas, a business  center, meeting rooms and function rooms, and a swimming pool with outdoor Jacuzzi, kiddie pool, and rooftop bar at penthouse that overlooks the NAIA Terminal 3 runway. Belmont Hotel Manila’s big win will be announced during the ceremonies to be held in Finland this October.   Know more about Belmont Hotel Manila and its world-class offers by visiting www.belmonhotelmanila.com.  BHM_WLHA Winner_Social Media 4

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28th MinBizCon to pursue Laguindingan Airport Expansion

September 9, 2019

The private sector will actively lobby for the expansion of the congested Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental during the 28th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) on September 12-14, 2019 at Iligan City. “This will be one of the issues we will raise during the MinBizCon,” said Ma. Teresa R. Alegrio, regional governor for Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI). “We have already prepared our position paper on the status of domestic airports in Mindanao and will raise this on the floor during the plenary session.” A year ago, PCCI-10 passed a resolution requesting DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade to prioritize the development and expansion of Laguindingan Airport within the next five years (2019-2023).   The resolution noted that the original proposal to improve the capacity and operations of the Laguindingan airport included upgrading the facilities /equipments to be of international standards, specifically, the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the airport along with the development of associated infrastructure and facilities, and the installation of all required equipment to meet international standards.  (please see sidebar story) As a regional airport serving Northern Mindanao and its adjacent regions, the Laguindingan Airport has been serving six provinces, two highly urbanized cities and five component cities with an average of two million passengers annually for the last three (3) years. “Laguindingan Airport has become an important logistic network for over 150 medium to large scale industries including four major thermal power plants, the Agus-Pulangi Hydroelectric Complex. 3 industrial parks, and emerging tourism destinations,” Alegrio noted.  Media reports recently disclosed that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is seeking an additional P100 million to start detailed engineering works and much needed repairs on the Laguindingan Airport as part of the P2.9 billion augmentation budget to fund its priority projects, including the development of four airports, the construction of the Pagasa Island port, and the implementation of the public utility vehicle modernization program. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) originally allocated P400-million (M) for the terminal building expansion of the Laguindingan Airport, but this was reduced to P180-M, then again halved to P90-M, before being slashed altogether by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA). However, the business sector lobbied strongly for the restoration of the reduced budget and the P90-M was eventually restored through a Congressional Initiative by Rep. Juliette Uy (2nd District, Misamis Oriental). Sources at the DOTr said a portion of the P90-M would be used for the Detailed Engineering (DE) of the proposed expanded passenger terminal building. The bidding process for an independent consultant to undertake the DE is now being processed and the contract is expected to be awarded by the latter part of 2019. The balance of the P90-M would used to rehabilitate dilapidated portions of the terminal building such as the comfort rooms. Even if the original P90-M would already be used up, construction of the new PTB would still continue with the proviso the funds used for this purpose would be reimbursed to the national government by the winning bidder for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project to develop and expand the Laguindingan Airport faculties. ”While we appreciate the 90M Congressional Initiative Fund restored by Rep. Juliette Uy, this amount is barely enough to refurbish the dilapidated areas including the poorly designed comfort rooms and malfunctioning elevators,” said Engr. Elpidio M. Paras, president of Promote Northmin Inc. “Government should now fast track the entry of private sector companies to expand and improve all the facilities of Laguindingan so that it can already accommodate direct flights from regional and international destinations, including lengthening the runway to meet wide body jet aircraft,” he added. Alegrio said the MinBizCon would seek a clarification from DOTr if the P100 million it is seeking for the Laguindingan Airport development in next year’s budget is the same item as the P90 million earlier committed as a congressional insertion by Rep. Uy. When it started operations in 15 June 2013, air passenger traffic at the Cagayan de Oro Lumbia Airport that Laguindingan Airport was designed to replace had already exceeded the 1.6 million design capacity of the new passenger terminal building (PTB). “To put it bluntly, the replacement airport was congested upon opening,” said a former DOTC official involved in its planning. When the passenger traffic exceeded 2 million annual passengers last year, the need for a larger terminal that could accommodate the current and expected passenger volume over the medium term became urgent and critical. On a year-on-year basis alone, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines ( CAAP) figures for the past 10 years show passenger traffic increasing at an annual rate of 8.7% from 902,133 in 2008 at the Cagayan de Oro Lumbia Airport to 2,079,683in 2018 at the Laguindingan Airport (doubling passenger volume every 8.5 years.) Recent growth in air cargo traffic was even more impressive, soaring 44% from 2017 to 25,366 metric tons (MT). The 11% increase in the number of flights from 2017 to 2018 (17,478 aircraft takeoffs and landings) was mainly responsible for the meteoric rise in both passenger and cargo movements. In a related development, DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade announced last 15 July the proposed extension of the 2.1 kilometer runway to 2.4 or 2.5 kilometers is proceeding as planned.  The P250-M budget for this project is already included in the 2020 National Expenditure Plan (NEP), which Congress wants approved before the year end.  This was part of the Feasibility Study expansion proposal endorsed by the Regional Development Council for Region 10 (RDC-X) and approved by the NEDA Board in 2014.

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Dream Residences breaks ground in Manolo Fortiich

August 31, 2019

A mid-rise residential development has broken ground in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon some 30 kilometers southeast of Cagayan de Oro City. Dream Residences is the second project of Yega Development Corporation - it is also the developer of Smart Condominium in uptown Cagayan de Oro. The venture is a result of Yega Development Corporation president and CEO Zackie Harris' dream - to establish a living space in Northern Mindanao where the climate is just right. Barangay San Miguel in Manolo Fortich definitely suits Harris' dream - temperature here drops to as low as 18°C at night. And just a stone's throw away is the famed Del Monte golf course. There are four choices of units available here in Dream Residences - each with a choice of view of the golf course or the dream swimming pools that will surreally surround the villas. The dream swimming pools are Harris' personal touch - as early as childhood, he has dreamt of living in an abode surrounded by sparkling waters. There are studio suites, mixed use units, country homes and pool villas with floor area as large as 100 sq. m. Future residents will also have the option to purchase units with varied fixtures - from standard to smart to supreme package. The supreme package already comes with a modular kitchen, dual electric cooktop stove, kitchen fixtures, range hood, closets & cabinets, coffee table set, water dispenser, queen size bed with massage bed, sofa, air conditioner, microwave, refrigerator, television, shower enclosure or bathtub and shower heater. Harris said residents will have the option to purchase solar panels for their electricity needs, making Dream Residences the most environment friendly living space outside Cagayan de Oro. To maximize this reality, parking slots will be placed outside the living campus itself. Residents will have the option to jog or use battery-operated carts to get to their vehicles. And then Dream Residences will have its own sewage treatment plant. As Harris puts it, "It is a paradigm shift, a change of habits." First turnover of units is expected in 2022. Dream Residences - your continuing experience of paradise in Manolo Fortich.

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AboitizPower enters int'l RE market, acquires Vietnam wind power facility

August 24, 2019

The Dam Nai Wind facility, located in Ninh Thuan Province, Southern Vietnam, is among the first successful wind power projects in the country. AboitizPower, through its wholly owned subsidiary AboitizPower International, announced today that it has signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of 100% ownership of Mekong Wind Pte. Ltd. (“Mekong Wind”) from Armstrong Southeast Asia Clean Energy Fund Pte. Ltd. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2019. The acquisition captures all legal and economic interest in Mekong Wind, which in turn holds a 99.9999934% direct interest in Dam Nai Wind Power JSC (“Dam Nai Wind”). Dam Nai Wind owns and operates the 39.4-megawatt (MW) onshore wind power facility in Ninh Thuan Province, Southern Vietnam. Ninh Thuan Province boasts some of the most attractive sites for wind energy in the country. The total purchase consideration payable for the acquisition of Mekong Wind is approximately USD 46 million which may be subject to certain closing adjustments.   Dam Nai Wind is one of the first wind power projects in Vietnam to have been successfully brought online with commercial operations having commenced in late 2017.  The transaction builds on AboitizPower’s investments in the rapid growth of renewable energy and marks its entry into one of Asia’s most attractive markets. Vietnam, with its robust economic growth backed by strong government support, creates an attractive environment for AboitizPower to increase its commitment and contribution to energy supply security in Southeast Asia through its wide experience and expertise in the power sector. “This transaction is a milestone for AboitizPower and sets the tone for our expansion in the international market. We have announced our intentions to go international some time back and we have been prudent in looking for the right opportunity that will bring the best value for the company and our shareholders. This is such a transaction,” AboitizPower President and Chief Executive Officer Erramon I. Aboitiz said. “We are excited for this opportunity not only to expand beyond the Philippines but to also bring our experience in the power generation sector, especially in the renewable energy space, to Vietnam. We are proud of what we have done with our Cleanergy brand in the Philippines and we will bring the same level of expertise and dedication to the Vietnam market,” AboitizPower Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel V. Rubio added. AboitizPower, together with its partners, generates some 1,200 MW of clean and renewable energy from its portfolio of hydro, geothermal, and solar power plants, forming its Cleanergy brand.

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