Investment uptrend in NegOcc seen to continue in 2019

BACOLOD City – A local business leader has expressed optimism about the continuing uptrend of investments in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, in 2019.

Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said on Thursday the business sector in the province saw the worst and the best of times last year.

He cited the high food prices and fuel costs among the worst part, but also noted the billions of investments poured in as the best part.

Among these investments were those of property giants Ayala Land Inc. and Megaworld Corp. along with Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp.’s opening of its new passenger terminal, SM Prime Holdings Inc.’s hotel development, and the start of economic highway construction in the province.

“All of these mean that in 2018, we created a lot of job and livelihood opportunities for Negrenses,” Carbon said.

He added it has been the investment trend in Negros Occidental for the last eight years and is expected to continue in 2019 and even beyond.

For this year, it is not only the service sector investments that will increase but more developments in the power sector are expected as well.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines is gearing up for the establishment of its 230-kilovolt Cebu-Negros-Panay Backbone Project targeted to be completed by 2020.

Carbon said that on the generation side, the business sector is hopeful that SMC Global Power Corp. will also start its coal-fired power plant project in San Carlos City.

“This is another investment, a big investment,” he added.

Carbon also said that solar power farms may also venture into biomass energy generation to complement their production.

“Service and power sectors put together, there’s going to be a lot of jobs and livelihood for Negros in 2019,” the business leader said.

The MBCCI itself is upbeat that the government sector, particularly the Department of Public Works and Highways, will continue the development of inter-provincial road networks.

Tourism and information and communications technology are among the major industries in the province seen to further improve this year, the business group added. (PNA)