Group to propose establishment of incubation, export hub

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

THE Davao Inventors Association Inc. (DIAI) is set to propose to the City Council the establishment of an incubation center and export zone in January next year.

DIAI president Virgilio M. Sangutan, in a meeting with the city councilors and members of the DIAI at the City Council on Wednesday, said the proposal is now on its final draft and now being readied for first reading next month.

The proposal, sponsored by councilor Bonifacio E. Militar, highlights the need to establish a Davao City Business Incubation and Livelihood Development Resource Center (Builder) and the Eco-Industrial Davao Economic Export Zone.

The incubation facility will be first in the Philippines when pushed through.

"The Builder will serve as an incubation and development center for researches, inventions, and ideas of Davao-based inventors," Sangutan said, adding they are still looking for a location for the center.

One of the possible locations for the center is a one-hectare land somewhere in Ecoland, Davao City.

He said the idea of putting up the center came about after realizing that there is a growing number of inventors in the city, but most of these ideas and inventions fall in between cracks for lack of facility to improve them.

"During the 2013 Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit that was held last month at SM City Davao, there were some 150 ideas, researches, and inventions by students and inventors but most of them will end up being shelved since there is no center for them to develop it," Sangutan said.

He said the incubation center will be comprised of laboratories for experimenting. Inventors and researchers will usually take at least six months in developing their products or inventions.

After the product development, they will then be transferred to the proposed Eco-Industrial Davao Economic Export Zone, wherein factories for the manufacturing of the products will be located.

DIAI executive vice president Sonny A. Orcullo said the zone will be an eco-friendly export and processing zone that will be located outside of the city proper.

"A huge investment is needed for the establishment of the zone. If it is approved and becomes fully operational it can employ more than 100,000 persons," said Orcullo, who's also one of the people who helped establish the Cavite Export Zone, which was able to employ more than 100,000 workers.

He said the export zone will be an agricultural-based processing and export zone but it will also cater to other industries like food processing and health and wellness.

Sangutan said they are yet to decide on the location of the export and processing zone. Among the choices are: 105-hectare of land to be leased by the City Government near Eden Nature Park and Resort or a 67-hectare land in Catigan, Toril, offered by a private entity.

"It is important to develop our local technologies and products since they are important to the economic backbone of the city. If we do not have development in our local products and technologies then there will be little to no development in our city's economy," he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 19, 2013.


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