Chinese Investors to Explore Investment Opportunities in DavOr’s Ancestral Domains

DAVAO ORIENTAL—Chinese investors are set to explore investment potentials in the Ancestral Domains here following the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Yeung Marine Holdings, Incorporated, and the Mandaya Tribal Councils and Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in the Municipalities of the First District.

Donny Yeung, a Filipino-Chinese investor represented Yeung Marine Holdings, Inc. during the MOU signing on Tuesday, February 12, at the Capitol’s Grand Conference Room.

Yeung was introduced to the Province by famous TV host and radio broadcaster Ramon Tulfo, who was appointed by the President as Special Envoy to China.

Hoping to immediately start the huge project by helping IPs develop their ancestral lands, Yeung Marine Holdings, Inc. seeks to expand its line of global trading by investing on agricultural farming, livestock, aqua-marine, aqua-culture resources farming, tourism, port development, among many others in the province. Yeung said they have projected the project to cost more than a billion-dollar considering the vast area of ancestral land here which comprises 60 percent of the total land area of Davao Oriental.

Yeung Marine Holdings, Inc. will provide technical assistance to the Mandaya Community at the same time ensure competitive market of the products.

“We will fast track to discussing what’s the best benefit for the local people as well as what’s the best benefit for the investor. So, if we reach a win-win situation that would be the long line business,” he said.

Likewise, Yeung assured their utmost respect to the customary laws of the IPs, stressing that the rights of the locals will not be infringed while looking for the best ways to help the highlanders earn.

“So, I try my best to give the better benefit for the local people because the land, the sea, everything belongs to the local people,” Yeung added.

Of the 12 Ancestral Domains in Davao Oriental, the Ancestral lands in the Municipality of Boston is ready for economic development as they have been declared an economic zone. Boston Vice Mayor Eleuterio Manaytay, who at the same time is the Provincial Tribal Chieftain, said that the upcoming investment will pave the way to realize their plans as contained in their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP).

“We are very thankful because through this, our dreams are close to be realized because in our ADSDPP, the program and projects cost about 4 billion. Now if we don’t allow investors to come in it will just remain a plan. So, this is a great opportunity for the CADT holders especially for the people as partners of the provincial government in ushering local economy,” he said.

The big-ticket project has also earned support from other Mandaya Tribal Councils and IPMRs, saying that the MOU serves as a commitment between the parties to push through the Agri-industrialization of Ancestral Domains.

“The Memorandum of Understanding only includes general provision wherein we are allowing our investor to come and evaluate.  We can offer 1,000 or 2,000 hectares for agricultural development while the rest for tourism and other, maybe, based on the potential of the area,” Manaytay added.

In an initial dialogue held Sunday, Governor Dayanghirang shared his optimism toward the project. He said that the project will be more beneficial to both parties if a processing plant will be established which will generate massive employment opportunities to the IP communities.

“Instead of selling raw materials to the investors, a processing plant should be established so that we can create job opportunities to the communities through value-adding ventures.  Also, we have to ensure that the property owners have their income shares.  We have to ensure that the rights of the IPs are protected,” said Governor Dayanghirang, who is keenly making efforts in his bid of pushing his Inclusive Governance Framework.

Inclusive Governance Framework forms part of the Governor’s Policy Direction which centers on ending poverty incidence and promoting socio-economic development through programs that are inclusive all, especially the marginalized sector that includes the ancestral domains.

Provincial Chief of Staff Ednar Dayanghirang, who at the same time is the Provincial Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer (LEIPO), as well as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples have facilitated the event.

Yeung, who has flown to Hong Kong after the MOU signing to meet with his business partners, will be back in the country within the month as both parties have agreed to proceed with the site visit in the soonest possible time. By Riza M. Golez/Photos by Rhea Shane Laureano