Inclusion of agri-industrial zones in development plan pushed-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
THE business community is pushing for the inclusion of agri-industrial zones in the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) of Davao City, the blueprint for development that is now undergoing revision at the City Council.
The modified CPD sets the direction of the city's development and guidelines for investors in the next 10 years.
Wilfred Teves, vice president for agriculture of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCII) and member of Davao Hogs Farmers Associations Inc. (DHFAI), said the city still has no identified agri-industrial zones despite its distinction as known producer of varied agricultural products.
Teves said the revised CDP now pending before the local lawmaking body contains only the provision on agricultural zones, but it does not clearly specify the agri-industrial zones.
"What we can do is to encourage the government to encourage the agri-industrial," said Teves, who earlier graced the regular Club 888 Forum at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao to air their position on the matter.
He said identifying which zones in Davao City are suitable for agri-industrial is as important as attaining food security in the years to come.
The City Government of Davao, Teves added, must also identify production areas in the CDP just like what it did for areas suitable for residential projects in the city to attend to the needs of a growing population, which is expected to double by year 2050.
Improperly classifying these areas suitable for agri-industrial can hamper new developments for this sector and lose the opportunity for investors to locate in the city, according to Teves.
For instance, he said Sirawan in Toril has about 30 farmers and is an area best suited for agri-industrial sector, but it was classified as residential area in the current CPD, which was drafted in 1996.
However, City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) zoning inspector Alizia Mundiz assured in a phone interview that all suggestions are being considered.
Mundiz said committee hearings on the draft of CPD is still ongoing and that proposals from all stakeholders, including private and public sectors, will be heard out thoroughly.
She said they are considering making Sirawan area for agricultural under the proposed CDP, which will take effect for 10 years from 2012 to 2021.
"Right now, there's a proposal to make it an agricultural area again because there are many famrers who are into livestock," Mundiz said in the vernacular.
She said classifying the area as agricultural can only allow livestock and other agricultural farming activities, but agri-industrial can cater dressing plant and processing facilities.
Meanwhile, Teves said the private group is also pushing for more Philippine Economic Zones Authority (Peza) accredited areas to attract more investors in the city.
At present, the city only has six Peza zones, most of them IT parks.
So far, the city has Sutherland Global Services Philippines Inc., Synnex-Concentrix Corporation, Opinionology Philippines Inc., VXI Global Holdings B.V, Sumifru Corporation and Legaspi Oil Company Inc. as Peza-accredited zones.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 27, 2012.