With the current wave of BPO generated economic growth in the major cities of the Philippines, one might wonder if it is enough to sustain the momentum, not so, says Norio Usui, senior country economist of the ADB Philippine Office.

Though the services sector continues to support the Philippine economy, Usui said the sector is not as productive as the manufacturing and industry sector because BPO companies require all their workers to be at least college graduates. He said this leaves out a huge chunk of the population unqualified to work in these companies. That is why it is important for an economy to be balanced for it to be strong. The services sector must be balanced with the manufacturing and industry sectors. SOURCE

In the case of Northern Mindanao, it has a strong manufacturing and Industry sector, with companies in the top 100 of world doing business here. One of this is Nestle, a company based in Switzerland, and is one of largest manufacturers of milk, cereal and coffee products in the world

Another is Del Monte, a company based in the US and is a leader in fruit canning and fruit processing in the world.

The pineapple plantations of Del Monte in bukidnon is currently the largest in the world and is still expanding.

Global giant Coca-Cola has recently relocated to one of its biggest and most advanced bottling plant in the country in Villanueva.

There are also a lot of small factories that processes agricultural products such as the famous Marca Leon oil of the Limketkai Manufacturing Corp. located at PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate.

Cagayan Corn Products Corp. is located in the industrial district of Tablon in Cagayan de Oro City.

Gokongwei-owned Universal Robina Corporation’s plant in El Salvador City produces popular snack foods such as Chippy and Nova under the Jack ‘n Jill brand.

Beverage giant Asia Brewery Inc. is also in El Salvador City. The 80-hectare complex houses four (4) bottling factories: Beer na Beer and Cobra, Tanduay Distilleries, Absolute and Summit Drinking Water and Virgin. It supplies the whole of Visayas and Mindanao.

and a lot more grains and vegetable oil processors…

Granexport Mfg. Corp. located in Kiwalan, Iligan City more famous for its Minola Cooking Oil.

San Miguel Corp.’s Iligan Coconut Oil Mill in Santa Filomena, Iligan City.

Aboitiz-owned Pilmico Foods Corp. famous for its flour products.

The Heavy Industry sector is also strong in Northern Mindanao. Blessed with a very deep natural harbor, the coasts along Misamis Oriental houses these factories of steel manufacturing and cement production.

Here is the Japanese-owned Philippine Sinter Corporation, one of the largest sinter plants in the world located in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

Swiss-owned Holcim Corp. is located in Lugait and is a leader in cement production in the country.

All this manufacturing plants are supported by strong infrastructure such as a stable supply of power by STEAG coal power plant and the Government-owned Agus power plants

In fact, the main switch for the Mindanao power grid is located in Cagayan de Oro City.

There is also a very good logistics infrastructure in Northern Mindanao, one of which is the Mindanao Container Terminal, which is currently expanding as shown below and Cagayan de Oro pier (also under expansion).

Emerging tiger economies such as those of Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are described by Mr. Usui as a balanced economy that is stable enough to weather any crisis.

The coming of big BPO players to Northern Mindanao will complement the already strong manufacturing and industry sector by hiring the overqualified college graduates not accepted by the factories. This will make the economy strong enough to weather any crisis.

In essence, Northern Mindanao will become a local Tiger Economy.

photos and text by nooboon

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