EGALITARIAN| Davao City and Davao Region’s Investment

OTHER than having the seat of power transferred to the South, there are many other reasons why investors are coming to Davao. Multinational firms’ decision to invest to countries is influenced by the desire to take advantage of the human resource quality, effective governance, and the geographic advantage and risk exposure. Let us seek out Davao Region’s situation.

Davao City produces 15,000 graduates annually from universities and colleges within and in surrounding peripheries. The City is home to 13 CHED-recognized Centers of Development (COD) and Centers of Excellence (COE), four of which are in University of Mindanao (UM) and dividing the other 9 COE/COD to 5 other schools. The formal learning institutions produce fresh supply of professionals ready for the industries.

Still there are those who were not able to finish formal education. However, reports reveal that the city maintains high literacy rate of workers, an indication of the abilities of the workers to communicate and perform with higher order capacities.

The World Bank Group Ease of Doing Business rated Davao City as friendly to investors. It is prime for starting a business in the areas of dealing with construction permits and registering property compared to all other cities in the Philippines. Mindanao cities like General Santos and Cagayan de Oro can also benefit from the windfall of investments in Davao City given their quality ratings as well.

Some challenges like higher number of business procedures, days-requirement for permit application, presence of fixers, too many signatories are already given attention. The Department of Trade and Industry Business Permit and Licensing System (DTI-BPLS) which is an annual activity of the department keeps tab of the permit and licensing procedures of the LGUs across the country. Latest report indicates that most of LGUs in Davao Region meet the requirements of effective and efficient licensing and permit applications.

            The city is also less vulnerable to natural disasters. With climate change, natural disasters are more frequent and getting much stronger, investors are surely keen in choosing locations that have low risk exposures. The Manila Observatory developed a simulation of climate for the next 60 years using geographic information system to model temperature increase, El Niño, rainfall change, typhoons and super typhoons. In all of the simulations, Davao City was not identified as vulnerable nor having risk exposure. However, provinces of Davao Region are vulnerable to identified risks like Davao del Sur to rise in temperature and El Niño. A complement model of climatology is the DOST tsunami map. Two provinces are exposed to tsunami due to the Philippine/Cotabato trench. These provinces are Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental.

            Along with all these potentials is the worsening traffic situation, in-migration of workers leading to spike in population, more informal settlers, and very certainly pollution is always a potential. Of course, we do not always get all the goods, there are also some bads, but with foreknowledge, the City can readily address them, making them problems as happy problems. After all, problem shape the genius in each person, while being happy is a character of a Dabawenyo.

Posted in Opinion