Del Monte Arabia to invest P11.2B in Palawan


DEL MONTE Arabia plans to invest $250 million or roughly P11.2 billion to set up a 6,000-hectare banana and pineapple plantation in Palawan, its provincial governor disclosed Tuesday.

In a briefing, Palawan Gov. Jose Chaves Alvarez said the company wanted to have the plantation up and running in two years, generating some 8,000 new jobs for the province.

According to Alvarez, Del Monte Arabia wants to forge long-term leases of at least 25 years, and tap contract growers for the plantation. The produce will be targeted for export to the Middle East and North Asia.

He did not share more details but said the plantation would be about the same size as the plantation of Del Monte Philippines Inc., which is owned by a different group.

Data from the Del Monte Philippines website showed that it was currently a leading producer of pineapple and other food products, marketing over 100 processed food and beverage variants.

Del Monte Philippines also operates the world’s largest integrated pineapple operation, with 20,000 hectares spanning Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.

According to Alvarez, the province wants to attract some P25 billion in private sector investments in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and energy over the next decade.

These investments are expected to boost tourist arrivals to about 3.5 million yearly from the current one million visitors.

“We are promoting investments in the province because this is the only way to address poverty. We are inviting companies to set up businesses in Palawan to generate employment and income opportunities… We have been left behind by our neighboring provinces in Mindanao and Visayas by almost 30 years, but we intend to catch up in the next 10 years. We want to transform Palawan to become the premier province in the country,” Alvarez explained.

To help raise awareness, the Palawan provincial government and its partners are bringing its promotion campaign in Makati through the “Palawan: World’s Best Island Tourism and Investment Expo.”

Two events showcasing the potential of Palawan will be staged, namely an investment forum to be held on July 28, and a travel and trade fair from Aug. 7 to 11.

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