ARMM embarks on BRIDGE Project to boost business and investments
COTABATO CITY – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said it is embarking on a project that aims at facilitating the development of Bangsamoro-specific business investment standards and protocols. The project, it said, will empower both the communities and businesses to engage in sustainable business enterprises.
Dubbed “Brokering Business Investments in the Bangsamoro to achieve Inclusive Development and Growth” (BRIDGE), the project will be implemented by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the Hineleban Foundation in collaboration with the Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) ARMM.
BRIDGE is funded by the Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The formal partnership among the players was sealed on Monday, January 23 at the ARMM Manila Liaison Office in Makati City through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the PBSP and ARMM Regional Government through RBOI.
The memorandum cites the roles and areas of cooperation of each participant agency for the successful implementation of the project. PBSP recently conducted a Development Partners’ Meeting with the Program Advisory Committee to generate inputs on the formulation and finalization of the Business Sustainability Framework in Bangsamoro and how to improve the project’s implementation.
Such framework seeks to define the role and behavior of corporations and partner communities that would make agribusiness investments in the Bangsamoro sustainable and responsible.
Lawyer Ishak V. Mastura, chairman and managing head of RBOI, said part of the project outcome will strengthen the capacity of RBOI to facilitate investments in the ARMM, help capacitate local communities to engage in business development, and promote businesses in the region among local and international investors.
“The project is very relevant and timely because this will prepare us, especially on the business aspect, in the possible transition from the present form of government to federalism, which is what the Duterte administration is now pushing in congress,” Mastura said.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman expressed his optimism about the project. “In line with the initiative of President Duterte to promote and encourage business investments from big businesses and tycoons to the ARMM, this project will enhance the capacity of our communities to receive those investments,” Gov. Hataman said.