The City Government of Cotabato targets a 7.5% increase in the city’s economic growth this year.
This projection is following the possibility of another influx of investors—both foreign and local—in Cotabato City in 2017. As early as December last year, a number of well known Philippine companies and industries have been in communication with the city government and they have already sent their emissaries to look for potential locations.
Secretary to the Mayor Aniceto Rasalan said, Cotabato City is being considered by these investors as a prospective expansion site for their businesses because of the several records that the city has broken when it comes to sales. Another significant consideration that these investors are eyeing is the city government’s implementation of tax holidays. A single investment worth 50 million and above can avail of the tax holiday for as long as 12 years. This means, these establishments shall only pay their business taxes after 12 years. The tax holiday depends on the amount of the investment. The bigger the investment, the longer the period of time of the tax exemption.
“These incoming investors are not only Filipino. Meron investment coming from Malaysia, coming from Singapore and coming from Chin” Rasalan said.
Rasalan also added that most of these industries include food manufacturing, retail malls, entertainment facilities, and food processing. Cotabato City is not set to open its doors to heavy industrial companies like those that manufacture chemicals, concrete products, and other similar industries as these are hazardous to the environment. The city government will ensure the ecological balance in the city in the midst of its economic development.
The projected growth in the city’s economy for 2017 is higher than 6.8% growth in 2016. Last year’s development was due to the increase in business tax, real property tax and market income collection, aside from the several new investments that came in the city. The 6.8% growth was almost as high as the 6.9% national economic growth target set by the national government in 2016.
Moreover, another trend that the city government would like to continue is the significant decrease in street crimes. As per latest report from the City PNP, crimes in the city for the last quarter of 2016 has decreased to more than 50% as compared to the same time in 2015. This has been duly recognized by the national government and in the recent meeting of the country’s mayors with President Rodrigo Duterte, he has personally commended City Mayor Atty. Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi for leading the efforts in crime prevention.
“General Bato dela Rosa was also present and he said Cotabato City has recorded one of the highest decreases in crimes in the whole country. We have also submitted already the accomplishment reports of the joint LGU-PNP ronda”, Mayor Guiani-Sayadi said.
Aside from the incoming investments in Cotabato City, major projects are also set to be implemented this year. Flood control projects are already in the pipeline. The dredging of the city’s main tributaries will continue this year to further prevent inundation in low lying villages. Widening of roads and rehabilitation of some bridges will also continue.
This year, the city government will also endeavour in establishing an economic zone and a seaport. Though not yet finalized, city officials are working hand in hand with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and some private consultants for this project to materialize.
An area in Barangay Kalanganan II was already identified to be the area of the ecozone and the seaport which, when already operational, will not only benefit Cotabato City but also its neighbouring towns as well.
With all of these developments, the city government is expecting an increase in the migration of people from all over South Central Mindanao to Cotabato City.
“This is already expected and we have prepared contingencies for it. If there is a need to increase our budget in terms of health and sanitation, we will do it. Also, we will continue to work with our PNP to further strengthen our campaign against criminalities”, the mayor added.