CAGAYAN DE ORO -- Two activated carbon plants and a producer of liquefied petroleum gas cylinders are expected to set up shop at the Phividec Industrial Estate, located a few kilometers east of this city, within the next six months, the provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry said in a recent statement.
  The press release identified Mindanao Activated Carbon Corp. and Malaybalay Green Carbon Inc. are the two firms that will manufacture activated carbon products from coconut shells.

While Malaybalay Green Carbon is a new firm, Mindanao Activated Carbon, which sells its product to both domestic and export markets, has been running a similar plant in Davao City for over a decade now.

Ferrotech Ventures Inc., which currently produces and repairs liquefied petroleum gas cylinders in Opol, Misamis Oriental, will also build a plant in the industrial estate.

Ma. Eliza A. Pabillore, the Trade department’s provincial director, said in a telephone interview that the expansion of industrial operations at the Phividec site not only generates employment but also supports economic growth of surrounding towns, partly due to increased buying power of residents.

“Investments in processing and manufacturing provide a high multiplier effect and has a bigger impact on the economy compared with the service sector,” said Ms. Pabillore.

She added that her office is still awaiting the report of Phividec’s management on the projected amount of new investments as well as jobs to be generated by the three projects.

Phividec, one of the biggest industrial estates in the country, occupies 3,000 hectares that straddle the towns of Villanueva and Tagoloan right next to this city.

There are 27 companies engaged in various industrial operations in the economic zone.

Ms Pabillore cited increasing investments in Misamis Oriental despite damage caused by a storm in December last year.

She particularly noted that new hotels and shopping malls have been rising in this city’s business district since the middle of this year.

Data from the Trade department’s office in Northern Mindanao showed that Misamis Oriental has topped all other provinces in Northern Mindanao with a total of P7-billion investments as of the first half -- a more than threefold increase from P2.1 billion in the same period last year.

That made the province the biggest contributor to the region’s P9.8-billion total investments in the same six months.

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