TO spread wealth to the countryside, the Cebu Provincial Investments and Promotions Office (CPIPO) kicked off its investment mapping program this month.
CPIPO Officer-in-Charge Floreza Duque-Alpuerto yesterday said the program is meant to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each town and prepare them for the anticipated influx of investments in promising rural areas.
“Our focus is to direct these investments to the countryside to make new growth centers outside of the congested cities,” said Alpuerto, who joined the CPIPO in February.
Alpuerto said the thrust of her office aligns with the programs of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The investment mapping will be done in coordination with the 51 local government units (LGU) of the province. Alpuerto had wanted to finish up with their investment mapping in June but the incoming Barangay and Sanggunian Kabataan (SK) elections could affect their surveying activities.
They will complete their investment mapping on July.
At least 11 towns under its investment mapping program have been surveyed as of yesterday.
Alpuerto said they already completed investment mapping in the towns of Sibonga, Argao, Dalaguete, Boljoon, Santander, Oslob, Samboan, Ginatilan, Malabuyoc, Alegria and Badian.
Next week, CPIPO personnel will conduct surveys in Toledo City and the towns of Pinamungajan, Aloguinsan, Balamban and Asturias.
Alpuerto said they will come up with an economic compendium of all towns after the mapping is completed. The compendium will detail the profile of each LGU and its economic opportunities.
The CPIPO official noted that the investment mapping will benefit the province as it pursues countryside development.
It would also attract investors to disperse their investments and for LGUs to market their locality and participate in the country’s economy.
Besides investment mapping, Alpuerto said they will also work with LGUs to activate their local economic investment and promotions officer who keeps track of an LGU’s economic developments and markets the town to investors.
The Duterte government is pushing for countryside development as a way to spread wealth, bring jobs to where the people are and decongest business activities in highly-urbanized cities.
According to Alpuerto, the P12.5-billion cement production of South Western Cement Corp. (SWCC) in Cebu is one of the biggest investments that entered Cebu last year.
It is also one of the five biggest projects approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) in August.
SWCC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of listed-firm Eagle Cement Corp. It is organized primarily for the manufacture and sale of cement and its by-products and owns mineral rights in Malabuyoc, Cebu.
The planned cement plant in Cebu will have a capacity of two million metric tons. Once completed in two years’ time, it will serve the Visayas and Mindanao.
“We really hope to see more big-ticket projects like this in the countryside,” said Alpuerto. (With JKV)