KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/February 12) – Multinational giant fruit producer Dole Philippines, Inc. (Dolefil) has launched commercial operations of its state-of-the-art 306 million peso fresh pineapple packing plant in Wao, Lanao del Sur, according to officials mentioned.
The Wao Development Corp. (WDC), a subsidiary of Dolefil whose main pineapple processing and canning plant is based in Polomolok, south Cotabato, launched operation of the plant on Thursday.
WDC was registered with Bangsamoro Investment Board of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RBOI-BARMM) in October 2019.
WDC’s parent company, Dolefil, is owned by Japanese giant Itochu Corporation.
Francis Babac, Chairman of WDC and Director of Agricultural Operations of Dolefil, said that WDC already operates a 1,200 hectare pineapple plantation in Wao, which is adjacent to their pineapple plantations in Bukidnon province.
“The WDC pineapple packing plant is currently capable of operating at a capacity of 2,000,000 cans,” he said, adding that the plant was designed with a design capacity of 6,000,000 cans. boxes.
“We plan to expand our pineapple planted areas with an additional 1,400 hectares by investing (at least) 200 million pesos, hopefully in BARMM and adjacent areas, to fill the gap in the production of our pineapple plant. ‘packaging,” Babac said in an RBOI statement. -BARMM.
Lawyer Ishak Mastura, Chairman of RBOI-BARMM, and Mohamad Pasigan, Member of the Board of Governors of RBOI-BARMM, graced the launching ceremony of the packaging plant.
In his speech, Mastura offered tax incentives to WDC if they find suitable expansion areas to plant pineapples in BARMM.
He also pledged their agency’s help in finding consolidated areas for the planned expansion of the company’s pineapple plantation.
“WDC is an ideal foreign investor for BARMM. It is now one of the largest employers in Wao with 1,200 direct employees in their packaging plant alone,” Mastura said.
He expects WDC to add thousands more employees until the company reaches full capacity at its packaging plant.
Apart from direct jobs, the new plant will also have a beneficial effect on the economy of the community in the form of indirect jobs and businesses generated in the region, Mastura said.
As an investment project registered with the RBOI-BARMM, the new plant will benefit from tax incentives such as income tax holidays and reduced duties and tariffs for imported capital goods. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)