BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Two of three major features of industrialization are rising up in Davao City—the US$400 million AboitizPower coal-fired power plant and the P2 billion SteelAsia rolling steel plant — to complete the city’s firepower as a key economic player in Mindanao.
Power, steel and cement are acknowledged as primary elements of industrialization, and could add more punch to Davao City’s image as Mindanao’s premier city and hub of the southern island’s trade and commerce.
The latest comer to Davao City’s investment scene is SteelAsia, which will put up the P2 billion Davao Rolling Mill Plant through its subsidiary New Carcar Manufacturing. To be located in Bunawan District in the city’s industrial zone, the project is seeking from the Davao City Council the reclassification of its plant site to heavy industrial. SteelAsia has existing plants in Luzon and Visayas. The Davao City plant would serve the construction needs of Mindanao.
The second of the trio of key industries needed for industrialization, the AboitizPower coal-fired power plant has hurdled the last requirement from the local government with the conversion of its plant site in Toril into a heavy industrial zone.
Both projects are to start construction in 2012.
The Holcim Philippines cement factory now backed by the giant Swiss cement maker is the third element in the city’s industrialization. The former Bacnotan Cement located in Ilang, Bunawan District, the plant has been a major producer for Mindanao’s cement need since the late 60s.
The role in the city’s march to the age of industrialization of the triumvirate of the vital industries, comes as Davao City continues to draw an invasion of large-scale investors in housing, property development, information technology, tourism, high-rise building construction and other key investment areas.
Year 2011 has been more than upbeat for Davao City, clinching further its image as a premier investment haven with the tsunami of investments flooding the city.
Investors are lured to Davao City by its ideal location in Southern Mindanao, its excellent, unlimited workforce of semi-skilled and skilled workers and ability to absorb any kind of industry in its 244,000-ha area.
Governance, tax incentives and peace and order—the flagship project of Mayor Sara Duterte and her father, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte—also play key role in attracting investors that now include big players in Asia.