By JOHN TRIA
As this goes to press, the government through the Department of Finance has reported another good year for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
Data shows that we clocked about 9.8 billion in foreign direct investments last year. As defined, FDIs cover new investments and increased capitalization of current investments, which mean expansion of current businesses.
Over the past two years, our FDI inflows totaled $20.1 billion, a good number when we realize that the 2018 figure alone is almost double the FDI gained in the last year of the PNOY administration.
This figure, however, only counts investments registered with our investment promotion agencies and does not factor in investments in small and medium enterprises, which include new restaurant and hotel chains and retail businesses like clothing shops.
It would be good to know how much the total investment figure is, since this can capture small and medium enterprises, which make up 95% of all businesses.
Possible Investments in Mindanao
In Mindanao, reports of two steel plants and and a company interested in restarting pulp and paper operations, as well as companies seeking to build a large fishport have generated some excitement in local business circles, since the raw materials and labor for such ventures are locally grown and sourced, creating local income.
Even the cacao and coffee industries are reporting a resurgence, with production rates continuing to grow beyond 10,000 metric tons of coffee this year. Mindanao has emerged as the top producer of these two high value crops.
As the Bangsamoro Transition Authority takes office, hopes for continued peace reign, to enable these and other economic activities to flourish.
Clean up activities are the first step to securing our water sources
Many labor intensive manufacturing industries, however, also have a high demand for water.
Already many cities and provinces have commenced or completed the physical clean-up of rivers and shorelines, yet admittedly, much needs to be done to further improve the water situation in many of our urban areas.
Water sources such as lakes and rivers, and even our marine areas are important future sources of water for our economic and physical needs. Making sure they are clean, healthy means we can tap them when we need them in the future. Groundwater sources are limited, and cannot be drawn too much.
That’s precisely the reason for the integrated water resource management framework of the Clean Water Act or Republic Act 9275, a law passed in 2003.
By asking various groups to form part of a Water Quality Management Area alongside the regional DENR offices, it compels local governments and citizen groups to collectively take stock of their water resources, be they ground, surface and marine sources, since the future will see the possibility that current sources may not be enough to supply our needs.
The end in mind is to create an abundance of nearby sources so that utilizing these will not be difficult or expensive.
Securing our water is why programs for clean-ups and drives against pollution matter. Local groups must now take charge of ensuring that their local water sources are clean and healthy. Programs to protect and enhance watersheds will also be vital to securing our future water sources.
These efforts are all the more critical given the he future of our water is at stake. Providing safe and affordable water is primarily a local concern, which is how and why RA 9275 will work.
Blaming the national government alone for not providing a local area its water needs will no longer work. Its time to take stock of our water, and protect and enhance our local water sources.
The current campaign to #Trashtag makes perfect sense. It is implementing provisions of the law that were long neglected. Why these things are being pushed only now is anyone’s guess.
It must force local governments to intensify solid waste collection efforts, and drive compliance by subdivisions, condominiums, malls and industries to comply with wastewater standards.
What can you do to help safeguard your local water sources?
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