Economic Undertakings

Stimulus plans in the works for Mindanao paper, steel

PICOP OPERATION is one of MinDA’s enterprises in the revival and rehabilitation of industries in Mindanao. – NATHAN DUMLAO-UNSPLASH

The MINDANAO Development Authority (MinDA) said it plans to revive steel and pulp and paper factories in Mindanao.

MinDA chairman Emmanuel F. Piñol said he would hold a virtual conference on Tuesday with officials from Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, to find ways to get the Paper Industries Corp. paper mill back online. of the Philippines (PICOP).

Mr Piñol said the municipal government, headed by Mayor Florencio C. Garay, will present options to rehabilitate the pulp and paper processing plant, which closed in 2006.

“The operation of PICOP is one of MinDA’s endeavors to revive and rehabilitate industries in Mindanao which have collapsed due to economic hardship, mismanagement, and misguided and abrupt privatization and corruption,” Mr Piñol said in a social media post this weekend. .

Mr. Piñol said PICOP operated the only fully integrated pulp and paper mill in Southeast Asia from 1963.

“However, PICOP’s productive years have been beset by both external and internal problems – natural calamities; national economic and political instability; high fuel costs in the international market; unfavorable domestic market conditions due to the globalization of markets; subtle effects of total privatization; the emergence of poachers, smugglers and other unscrupulous illegal log buyers in PICOP concession areas; and legal and environmental constraints affected the operation, production and financial situation of PICOP which forced PICOP to close its doors in 2006 ”, according to a study cited by M. Piñol conducted by Reynante B. Casiro and Emmalyn T. Catubig from the Central University of Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Piñol said reviving the steel industry in Iligan City will also be the subject of exploratory talks with city officials.

“We will also engage the city government of Iligan to explore ways to revive and rehabilitate this industry, which processed local mineral resources and scrap metal, provided jobs and propelled economic growth in Mindanao,” said Mr. Piñol.

“The Iligan City Steel Plant is a story of economic hardship and the apparent lack of determination on the part of the national government to support a local industry that could have greatly contributed to the country’s economic growth,” he added. .

Mr. Piñol recently announced that the Development Bank of the Philippines has confirmed its support for MinDA’s plan to revive the plywood and veneer industry with the use of fast-growing tree varieties.

He said MinDA hopes to organize a virtual convention of arborists by the end of the month to organize the Mindanao Industrial Tree Farming Development Council. – Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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