DAVAO CITY — The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) said land reclamation is the “ideal” option for the development of an industrial park near the city center.
“It is a challenge to find space in the city because most of the properties are owned by private owners… and also because of the escalating prices of real property,” DCCCII President Arturo M. Milan said in an interview on the sidelines of the Japanese Community 100th Anniversary at the Marco Polo Davao on Oct. 3.
“It is quite a challenge because of the increasing prices of real property in Davao, plus it’s difficult to convince local owners to go into a joint venture because most of the industrial park developers want a joint venture,” he added.
He also noted that Cebu City reclaimed land and developed this into an industrial park.
The need to establish an industrial park was highlighted during last week’s Japanese Community celebration as investors from Japan expressed interest to set up manufacturing plants in Davao City.
Miwa Yoshiaki, consul general of Japan in Davao, said among the potential locators are metal and plastic manufacturers aside from processors of agricultural goods.
“Manufacturing industry has a very wide range… I understand that DCCCII thinks that manufacturing is very important and I agree… but of course agri-business is also important such as processing agriculture (products),” he said.
Mr. Milan said if Davao City can develop the industrial space, foreign partners could bring in the equipment and technology for processing local agricultural resources.
“We will just marry the two and put them in an industrial park where we can process. That is the ideal to help the farmers,” he said.
Mr. Milan also clarified that they would not like Davao City to go into heavy industry.
“Maliliit lang (Just light industry) such as manufacturing plants for cell phone chips,” he said.
DCCCII, he added, has been in discussions with the Semi-conductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI), which is looking at Davao as a future expansion area.
“Only that we don’t have an industrial park at mas gusto nila na (and they prefer an) established industrial park… An industrial park is like a one-stop-shop and the incentive is already bundled in the offering,” Mr. Milan said.
Mr. Milan said the chamber hopes that the government will take the lead in the establishment of an industrial park, which would open doors for value-adding to agricultural products, generate employment, and contribute to overall economic growth. — Maya M. Padillo