Multinational fruit firm starts operation in Maguindanao PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 14:10

Muslim communities in Datu Abdullah Sangki town in Maguindanao felt the initial dividend of the government’s framework deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with the launching Tuesday of a P569 million worth foreign-funded banana plantation in the area.

The event marked the start of the setting up by the Delinanas Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Del Monte Fresh Produce (Philippines) Inc., of its 550-hectare Cavendish banana farm in Datu Abdullah Sangki’s  Barangay Tukanalugong, which is surrounded by more than a dozen enclaves of the MILF.

The launching rite was jointlyled by Maj. Gen. Ceasar Ronnie Ordoyo of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division,

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman, Datu Sangki Mayor Acmad Sangki and the Costa Rican operations manager of the multi-national Delinanas, Miguel Purtugeuz.

Hataman said the negotiations for the coming in of the Delinanas in Maguindanao started early this year, just as the government’s peace overture with the MILF started to gain headway.

The Delinanas has already opened up in recent weeks 200 hectares of prime lands in Barangay Tukanalugong as initial phase in developing a 550-hectare banana plantation in the area.

Hataman said the firm has been assured of its safety in Datu Abdullah Sangki by the town’s inter-agency, multi-sectoral peace and order council.

The Delinanas is to employ 866 workers, mostly local Muslim farmers in the initial stage of its establishment of the plantation.

Local officials told Hataman and Ordoyo, who assumed as commander of the 6th ID only last week, that the employment the Delinanas is to provide to local farmers will usher in improvements in the local economy.

“People will have regular salaries. Stores in the surroundings will flourish,” Sangki, the mayor here, said in Filipino.

He said they are grateful to the Delinanas for having decided to invest in an area “wrongly perceived” as dangerous to investors.

Hataman said he is optimistic more multi-national firms will invest in the ARMM, as a consequence of the crafting by the government and the MILF of the October 15 framework agreement.

The agreement aims to establish a more comprehensive, more politically and administratively empowered Moro-led self-governing region in lieu of ARMM.

Hataman, in an impromptu speech during the launching ceremony, urged the foreign and local incorporators of the Delinanas to also put up banana plantations in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.