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Trip to Japan a success, says Guv

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

At least five (5) Japanese investors expressed interest to come to Cebu for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) opportunities.

Governor Hilario P. Davide III said the companies inquired about the prospects of doing businesses in Cebu based on the recommended PPP projects in Cebu by Toyo University.

“Our official trip to Japan is fruitful and productive because we are able to engage these private companies,” said the governor in a press conference at the Capitol last August 11.

“We invited them to come to Cebu and some of them have expressed their interest to come to Cebu and share their best practices,” he further stated. He said he already tasked Cebu Investment Promotion Office (CIPO) Chief Benjamin Yap to write a formal invitation to these companies for their visit in Cebu.

The governor met the investors in his official trip in Japan last week. He was invited to speak before the private companies and government officials in Japan at the 10th International Forum on PPP hosted by Toyo University thru its Asia PPP Institute.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mohathir Mohamad was the keynote speaker. He is the Honorary Chairman of APPPI.

Gov. Davide’s speech highlighted Cebu’s positive climate for PPP projects in the aspect of governance and commerce. APPPI Director Sam Tabuchi, who led the PPP study team in Cebu last February, also invited Cebu to be a regular part of the APPPI program.

Though, the province is yet to receive a formal invitation Gov. Davide said, “This is a very great news because we will be part of an international program, which brings Cebu at the map of investors, especiallyJapanese investors.”

The PPP Possibility Study in the Province of Cebu was focused on these key areas: Land use, disaster preparedness, health, and urban infrastructure.

Some Cebu mayors were invited and joined him in the forum. They were Mayors Raymond Joseph Calderon of Samboan and Lisa Marie Durano-Streegan of Sogod, and Vice Mayors Wilson Wenceslao of Santander and Richard Streegan of Sogod. Second District Rep. Wilfredo Caminero was also invited and attended the forum.

Members of the governor’s delegation in Japan included senior Provincial Board (PB) Member Peter John Calderon, chair of the committee on health and co-author of Cebu’s investment code; PB Member Christopher Baricuatro, author of Cebu’s investment code and PPP ordinance, and PB Member Jude Thaddeus Durano-Sybico, vice chair of the committee on planning and development.

The governor said most of the participants of the forum were from Saitama Prefecture and Yokohama City. He had also visited these places to meet some private companies and public institutions there.

He was also given the opportunity to talk to the investors of Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc. He said the company donated 10,000 bags of cement to the Capitol and these will be supplied from their cement plant in San Fernando.

Capitol senior consultant Rodrigo Lachica Jr. and CIPO Chief Benjamin Yap, Slovakia’s honorary Consul Antonio Chiu, member of Cebu Investment Promotions Board and University of San Jose-Recoletos- College of Law Dean Jonathan Capanas also joined the governor in his other meetings in Yokohama City and Saitama Prefecture.

Governor Davide also mentioned his meeting with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Vice President Mr. Kuroyanagi Toshiyuki. Mr. Toshiyuko, according to the governor, assured him of their continued support. It is JICA who formulated the roadmap study of Mega Cebu. What JICA asked in return, he said, is the approval of the roadmap study by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). Gov. Davide said the study, which contained proposed short-term and long-term projects in the Metro Cebu areas, is already approved at the committee level. “The next step is the approval of the NEDA Board,” he stated.