Monday, March 8, 2021

Phividec eyes integrated steel mill, port expansion

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MISAMIS ORIENTAL, Jan. 31 (PIA) — The Phividec Industrial Authority is now preparing for the construction of an Integrated Steel Mill and expansion of its port.In an interview with Communications Secretary Martin Andanar during Saturday’s episode of CORDS X podcast, Administrator Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Vina in shared that his main mission at Phividec is to materialize the establishment of the Integrated Steel Mill which would bring in 30,000 direct jobs with the multiplier effect of 70,000 more.The Integrated Steel Mill started when China offered President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) to help establish an Integrated Steel Mill here in the country, La Vina said.”It has gone through various steps and the previous administrator, Atty. Franklin Quijano, started the project. It has slowly moved forward but our target is to enter into a memorandum of understanding to really start the project,” he explained, adding “the purpose of this Integrated Steel Mill is to locally produce steel here so that we don’t have to import.La Vina expressed optimism that with the steel factory, the industries that depend on steel products would come like car manufacturers.If materialized, this will be a game changer for the country for two reasons: one is the magnitude of the jobs created and the other is it would bring many downstream industries like those using steel for roofing, bicycles, e-jeepneys, cars, ships, etc.A total of 100,000 jobs can be created through this steel mill.At the moment, he explained, there are issues being ironed out by Phividec with the two Chinese companies that had proposed to build the Integrated Steel Mill in the area. Among the concerns include land ownership, size of area needed, rates and the timeline for the construction among others.But La Vina is hopeful that these issues will be settled to the satisfaction of Phividec.Meanwhile, the Mindanao Container port which is also one of the services inside Phividec has a new service – the Regional Container Line that the ship will travel from Singapore to Cebu to Cagayan de Oro and back to Singapore the following day.”It gives producers, industries, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) the ability to export product in a predictable time to markets in South East Asia, China and Singapore, he stressed.Moreover, new markets are also opened such as Middle East, India and Pakistan, the sub Indian continent.”Someday we can be an agro-industrial powerhouse exporting to the world, feeding the world after feeding our own of course,” he added.”We start to consider expanding the port by improving the physical structure so that more ships can land in Phividec, La Vina said.About 60-70 percent of Phividec’s income comes from the port. He explained that when we expand the port, automatically, income will rise.He urges the business community to look into food business for export because with or without COVID, everyone needs to eat. (JMORucat/PIA10)

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