CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY- Regional Director Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño, CESO III of NEDA Regional Office X, during the online business seminar on transportation and energy investment prospects and opportunities for Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao Region on 7 October 2021, emphasized Northern Mindanao’s commitment to sustain its position as the largest producer of sustainable, reliable, and cheaper source of power in Mindanao.

She further asserted the region’s pursuit of an efficient multimodal transport system that maximizes Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao’s location advantages in the overall growth of Mindanao.

Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla and Assistant Secretary Roderick M. Planta of the NEDA Regional Development Group and Investment Programming Group, respectively, joined the seminar with their keynote messages. Usec. Sombilla shared the National Spatial Strategy, which recognizes Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro as the fourth metropolitan center in the Philippines by 2025. She shared that NEDA, with other key government agencies, is currently analyzing the regional budget allocation of infrastructure over the last five years as reference for equitable infrastructure allocation policies.

Asec. Planta shared the Philippines’ National Transport Policy, which highlighted the vision and strategies of transportation in the Philippines. He emphasized that the policy on transportation management in urban and regional areas is to move more people than vehicles, address traffic congestion in urban roads, and integrate land use with transport and traffic management plans.  

Resource persons from the government and the business sector presented the development prospects and investment opportunities of Northern Mindanao and Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro in transportation and energy. Mayor Oscar Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City imparted the catalytic role of developing an efficient transportation and energy infrastructure in Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro to foster economic and social integration of all areas within the metropolitan. He also wooed all regional stakeholders to cooperate in the realization of this anticipated development. 

Mr. Ruben A. Vegafria of the Oro Chamber and Ms. Ellen Kionisala of the DTI Board of Investments conveyed the ardent desire of Northern Mindanao’s business sector to partner with the business sector of Japan. They also highlighted various government and business sector collaboration efforts for MSME innovation, as well as, the available tax incentives, tax holidays, and efforts in easing the process of doing business in the region.

To foster knowledge sharing, two of Japan’s leading consulting firms, Chodai Co.,Ltd. and Nippon Civic Consulting Engineers Co. Ltd shared Japan’s development projects and technologies on renewable energy and transportation infrastructure. Engr. Jett Tommy Tolentino of Chodai Co., Ltd.  and Engr. Wako Noto of Nippon Civic Consulting Engineers Co., Ltd. shared various project engagement of their firms in the Philippines, and Japan’s technological advancement in energy and transportation infrastructure, such as the tunnel auxiliary method for safety construction and environmental preservation, and hydropower plant technology that is already operational in Caraga Region, among others.

“The Consulate General of Japan remains committed in collaborating with the people of Mindanao on projects that would solidify our friendship into a real partnership and be mutually beneficial to both the people of Japan and the Philippines”, assured Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa of the Consulate General of Japan in Davao in his message during the seminar.  

Regional Development Council (RDC) X Chairperson, Governor Philip Tan and RDC-X Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee Vice-Chairperson, Regional Director Zenaida T. Tan of DPWH Region X, also graced the seminar with their welcome and closing messages. NEDA Region X Assistant Regional Director Leonila G. Cajarte, in her synthesis, affirmed Northern Mindanao and Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro’s claim as a top transportation and energy investment destination of Japan given the existing policies, natural, and geographical comparative advantages, and synergy of government and business sector.

The online seminar was organized by the Consulate General of Japan in Davao and the NEDA Region X, in collaboration with the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (Oro Chamber). It attracted more than 260 participants and generated a thousand views in the NEDA Region X and Oro Chamber’s Facebook pages.