By Mike Baños
The PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority (PHIVIDEC IA) is all set to ring in its first 50 years next year with a slew of projects and accomplishments in compliance with its mandate to carry out the national government’s policy to encourage, promote and sustain the economic and social growth of the country.
In an exclusive interview, Atty. Joseph Donato J. Bernedo, PHIVIDEC IA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, outlined the estate’s priorities as it commemorates its Golden Anniversary in August, 2024.
Foremost among these are the expansion of the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT); Bulk Water Project; Socialized housing project for 3,000 informal settlers; the integrated steel mill project; and development of the Kirahon Plateau for eco-tourism and other purposes.
“I’m very keen on pursuing the expansion of our port. I want to have it finished during my time or at least get it going because this is long overdue. We have already reached maximum capacity in 2018,” Atty. Bernedo stressed.
With a 24-hectare terminal area for infrastructure, equipment and support facilities, and a 300-meter berth originally designed to handle one international vessel measuring up to 200 meters, and an annual capacity of 270,000 TEUs, MCT is regulated by PHIVIDEC-IA and has been operated by ICTSI since 2008 when the Manila-based terminal operator signed a 25-year concession.
The US$ 85.34 Million (P 3.24 Billion) MCT was funded by JBIC (85%) and 15% (PHIVIDEC IA) and designed and managed by Pacific Consultants International (PCI), and Japanese Contractor Mitsubishi-Kawasaki-Toyo Joint Venture (MKT-JV).
Atty. Bernedo said he already met with JICA to explore getting a grant for funding of the pre-feasibility study, where Phividec received positive reaction from the evaluators who noted Phividec’s compliance with most of the factors they look for, and this should help in the approval process and identification of funding sources.
The proposed US$66 million (P3.392 billion) MCT Expansion project includes the expansion of the berth length by 300 meters, expansion of container yard and construction of loading and unloading facilities.
Similarly, talks with two original proponents of the flagship Integrated Steel Mill Complex project along with a big shipbuilder from Cebu, will be revived for the prime 300 meter property earmarked for the ISM project.
PHIVIDEC-IA will likewise seek developers who may be interested to develop the Kirahon Plateau which already has a satellite campus for the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) Campus with a beautiful view overlooking Macajalar Bay, to explore its potential for tourism (mountain resorts), as originally included in the PIEMO Master Plan.
Another priority project, the estate’s bulk water supply project just needs to resolve some legal issues before work on it can start by its proponent with a joint venture with PHIVIDEC-IA.
Meanwhile, the budget for the 1,500 housing unit socialized housing project for 3,000 informal settlers in Tagoloan and Villanueva currently occupying estate land under usufruct has already been approved by the National Housing Authority (NHA) Board. With the 10 hectares donated by the estate, this will enable the beneficiaries to own their own house and lot under NHA.
“I have requested NHA to start the tagging of qualified beneficiaries to commence the profiling of what the housing needs of the target users really are. We hope we can have the groundbreaking by the 50th PIA Anniversary next year on August 13, 2024,” Atty. Bernedo said.
Not the least, a full-blown road show in coordination with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and other Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs), chambers of commerce, foreign embassies, and the like, will be rolled out to aggressively push the PIE-MO with theme “Road to Golden Years.”
The PHIVIDEC IA was created on August 13, 1974 through Presidential Decree No. 538, as amended, to carry out the policy of the Government to encourage, promote and sustain the economic and social growth of the country. Likewise, it created PHIVIDEC Industrial Areas which shall be proclaimed, designated and specified by Presidential Proclamations.
The 3,000-hectare PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental (PIE-MO, covering 13 barangays in the Municipalities of Tagoloan and Villanueva, is the first Industrial Area to be undertaken by the PHIVIDEC IA.
PHIVIDEC IA has been in the business as an industrial estate developer for more than forty nine (49) years. All these years, it embarked on several programs and projects meant to generate investment’s socio economic recovery programs and to attain the goals of industrialization.
PD 538 gave PIA both proprietary and governmental powers to facilitate effective development of the industrial estate. It is vested with authority to collect real property taxes, port operation, operation of power system, water system, and others which dictated the course of action PHIVIDEC IA should take in order to implement full control of the development of the industrial areas.
In collaboration with appropriate agencies, the Authority ensures environmentally and socially acceptable development of industrial areas within the Estate to encourage, promote and sustain the economic and social growth of the country and the establishment of well-planned industrial area.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. appointed Atty. Joseph Donato J. Bernedo as PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority’s Administrator and CEO for a term of three (3) years starting June 6, 2023.
Atty. Bernedo’s experience in the legal profession has spanned more than 2 decades working for SGV and Company, as well as in Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De los Angeles Law Office, one of the oldest law firms in the Philippines.
He has represented Filipino and foreign clients in various cases involving Litigation, foreign and domestic Arbitration, General and Corporate Law, and Labor.
With Administrator Bernedo’s experience and leadership, he aims to lead PHIVIDEC-IA towards future developments in becoming an exemplary state-owned enterprise as well as achieving the mission of its mandate.