Bacolod business group bats for rural investments

BACOLOD CITY — The Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) pushed for rural investments in a bid to drive a balanced local development.

Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of MBCCI, said Tuesday almost all investments, especially of private companies, are located in urban centers resulting in fewer jobs and labor in the rural areas.

Carbon said there are many potentials in the rural areas since most of the physical resources there had remained underdeveloped.

“Development investments of the government should be biased towards rural or agricultural areas.

Public investments should make the rural areas prone, not resistant, to development to entice the private sector to follow the footprints of the government,” he added.

Carbon said that to bring in investments to the rural areas, the government should initiate first the development, mainly on infrastructure.

These infrastructure developments include construction and maintenance of roads, irrigation, rice mills, corn mills, and other postharvest facilities, among others.

“It is like investors want to bring in ships. but the area does not have port facilities,” Carbon said, adding that “this is a call for the government to allow the private sector to follow its footprints.”

Moreover, the MBCCI itself believes that for Western Visayas’ economy to be equitable, the agriculture, fishery, forestry and industry sectors must create wealth in a sustainable manner.

Based on the group’s projection of gross domestic product (GDP) in Region 6, the service sector has the biggest growth rate of 58 percent for 2016 or amounting to PHP181 billion.

The service sector includes real estate, renting, retail, public administration, banks, lending, insurance, telecom, transport, trading and tourism, and business process outsourcing (BPO).

Other sectors such as agriculture, fishery and forestry, and industry are projected to be at only 20 and 22 percent, respectively.

The industry sector covers mining, quarrying, manufacturing or factory, construction, electricity and water subsectors. (EPN/PNA)


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