Private sectors pledge P3B socio-economic assistance to Sulu

Author: DA-AFID | 20 December 2016

Big private business companies committed around P3 billion worth of investment to the province of Sulu in line with the government’s effort to bring peace and socio-economic development to the province.

The Department of Agriculture (DA), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the non-governmental organization Go Negosyo Group, presented initiatives under the “Save Sulu” project to President Rodrigo R. Duterte on December 19, 2016 during the Christmas Townhall gathering at the Malacañan Palace.

The initiatives include livelihood programs, mentorships, establishmnet of infrastructure and other rural facilities.

“This is in response to the President’s directive last September to come up with a poverty alleviation program for the residents of Mindanao particularly the province of Sulu,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol said.

Some of the companies that expressed support assistance include Manny V. Pangilinan Group of Companies, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Bounty Fresh Group of Companies, W Group, Lucio Tan and Gawad Kalinga.

“Alongside the campaign against terrorism, we should also have soft hands to help people from Sulu,” Piñol said.

Among the commitments the government has secured for the province are:

From the Manny V. Pangilinan Group of Companies:

  • Rehabilitation and Upgrading the Smart Communication in the province Building of 40 houses for the next two years;
  • Establishment of a Coconut Oil Mill which could bring around P600-P800 million annual sales;
  • Medical equipment including the trainings on medical practioners to the four hospitals in Sulu;

From the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry:

  • Provide 15 School Buildings or around 30 classrooms in Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao

From the Bounty Fresh Group of Companies:

  • Invest on 50 – 100 poultry contract grower that will be delivered in Zamboanga City, including the equipment for the growers
  • Establishment of more Chooks-to-Go store in the area

From Lucio Tan:

  • Commercial Flights going directly to Sulu

From the W Group:

  • Drying areas and Warehouse for the Carageenan Industry

From the San Miguel Group of Companies:

  • Establishment of 50 Megawatt coal fire power plant
  • Rebuilding the Hajibuto School of Arts and Trade

The agri chief also announced that the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) will partner with Hajibuto to use it as a training center for agri-fishery seminars.

Piñol announced that the Department will allot P50 million under the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) to be used for various rural development program and foster inclusive growth. DA will also distribute five farm tractors in the province.

Piñol stressed that the Duterte administration aims to provide programs that will reduce poverty incidence in the country by at least 25 percent within three years.

“We want to make the Filipino feel that their government is here to support them,” he said. ### (Kristel Merle, DA-AFID)

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