THE Anflo Group’s new project, the Anflo Industrial Estate (AIE), a special economic zone in Panabo City, is eyed to further spur Davao Region’s economic growth as it will attract more investors in the manufacturing sector, resulting to higher employment and accelerated economic development.
After its groundbreaking this month, AIE will start its initial operations by June of this year.
“AIE operation will start this year. We will be building up the first set of warehouses this year. Our first locators will be coming sometime in June or July,” Ricardo “Cary” Floirendo Lagdameo, vice president of Damosa Land Inc. (DLI), who also heads the AIE.
He said the Davao International Container Terminal (DICT) is among its first locators. The leading and biggest reefer container terminal in the Philippines, DICT will have their empty container depot at the AIE.
The P1 billion AIE is a 63-hectare self-sustaining ecozone for manufacturing and warehousing agro-industrial components. AIE is duly licensed by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) and proclaimed by the Office of the President as a Special Economic Zone.
The estate will offer land and ready built factory buildings/warehouses for sale and lease in various sizes to suit locators’ needs.
AIE will feature safety measures such as a suitable perimeter fence, CCTV, and 24/7 security. Peza facilities and a central administration building with meeting rooms will be constructed within the area to house its service team.
“With AIE here in Panabo, we believe that it will help develop not only the city but the entire Davao Region as a premier business and investment destination,” Lagdameo said.
When asked why it was placed in Panabo City, Lagdameo was quick to add that one major factor why they invested in Panabo City is the port facilities (DICT) so it will naturally complement with it.
“I think more than half of the trade in the Davao region goes to that port (DICT) already, it is a very busy port, so it is a natural complement in terms of putting AIE next to it. Because of the port it will really spur the economic activity in Panabo, there is going to be a need for support facilities and other components to complement on that, and that is why we have AIE in Panabo," Lagdameo added.
Land developments of AIE started during the late fourth quarter of last year.
Meanwhile, to further position Davao City and the rest of the region as a sustainable development economy, the Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC) pushes for promoting investment in the manufacturing industry.
Ivan C. Cortez, DCIPC officer-in-charge, in a report said that sustainable economic growth can be also achieved in manufacturing industry.
"The battle cry of DCIPC is to promote into the manufacturing sector because if you look at the bulk of our investment only about 5 percent is in manufacturing, only a small portion, if we want a sustain type of economic development it has to be in manufacturing," he said.
"If you will be a manufacturing belt in Mindanao all of the raw materials will come here for value adding, and if you are value-adding growth will be sustained," Cortez added.
Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) director for Investment Promotion, International Relations and Public Affairs’ Romeo Montenegro, for his part said that to fully seize opportunities and economic advantage of the “in motion” Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Integration, Mindanao must create more manufacturing hubs for value-added export products.
“If Mindanao wants to take advantage of AEC and BIMP-Eaga, starting to have a mindset of creating more manufacturing base is important so that we will not only produce raw materials, but also produce value-added products that can be directed towards other larger markets, the entire Asean and the other big market in the international sphere,” he said.