Philippine agri-land laws ‘tragic’: Senator

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Phil riceA proposal by South Korea’s Hanjin to invest in Philippine agricultural land has been met with undue scrutiny, an influential Philippine senator has claimed.

Calling the Philippine National Food Authority’s (NFA) request to first assess the effect of the investment on the local grain industry a “tragic” decision, Senator Manny Villar, a former president of the Philippine Senate, penned an op-ed in the Manila Bulletin on May 15 decrying “we still don’t really know what’s legal or illegal when it comes to investments.”

Most ironic, according to Villar, is the reality that the Philippines clearly lacks the financial and technical resources to develop its agricultural sector and should be promoting foreign investment instead of stymieing its inflow.

“We need foreign investments to spark an agricultural renaissance. I call it renaissance because our agricultural sector has been left behind not only by Thailand but Vietnam,” Villar said, alluding to a time when the Philippines was once a major rice exporter.

South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industry and Construction (HHHI), through its subsidiary HHHI-Mindanao, submitted a proposal to the NFA in April to acquire 3,000 hectares in Misamis Oriential, Mindanao to farm rice and corn.

The project has an estimated value of $264 million over the next 30 years with $1.3 million earmarked in seed capital. Perhaps most crucially for the Philippines’s lagging agriculture sector, the proposal includes the transfer of technology from the Korean National Institute of Crop Science.

However, despite the Philippines still lagging position in ASEAN, the country has shown some strength recently, once again becoming an exporter of rice after decades of being an importer by making a 35-tonne shipment to Dubai on May 6, 2013, according to the Philippine Rice Research Institute.

HHHI is a major foreign player in the Philippines as the operator of the shipbuilding facility at the Subic Freeport Zone.

Besides agriculture, the Philippines places limitations on foreign ownership in the media and telecommunications industries.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

A proposal by South Korea’s Hanjin to invest in Philippine agricultural land has been met with undue scrutiny, an influential Philippine senator has claimed.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Phil riceA proposal by South Korea’s Hanjin to invest in Philippine agricultural land has been met with undue scrutiny, an influential Philippine senator has claimed.

Calling the Philippine National Food Authority’s (NFA) request to first assess the effect of the investment on the local grain industry a “tragic” decision, Senator Manny Villar, a former president of the Philippine Senate, penned an op-ed in the Manila Bulletin on May 15 decrying “we still don’t really know what’s legal or illegal when it comes to investments.”

Most ironic, according to Villar, is the reality that the Philippines clearly lacks the financial and technical resources to develop its agricultural sector and should be promoting foreign investment instead of stymieing its inflow.

“We need foreign investments to spark an agricultural renaissance. I call it renaissance because our agricultural sector has been left behind not only by Thailand but Vietnam,” Villar said, alluding to a time when the Philippines was once a major rice exporter.

South Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industry and Construction (HHHI), through its subsidiary HHHI-Mindanao, submitted a proposal to the NFA in April to acquire 3,000 hectares in Misamis Oriential, Mindanao to farm rice and corn.

The project has an estimated value of $264 million over the next 30 years with $1.3 million earmarked in seed capital. Perhaps most crucially for the Philippines’s lagging agriculture sector, the proposal includes the transfer of technology from the Korean National Institute of Crop Science.

However, despite the Philippines still lagging position in ASEAN, the country has shown some strength recently, once again becoming an exporter of rice after decades of being an importer by making a 35-tonne shipment to Dubai on May 6, 2013, according to the Philippine Rice Research Institute.

HHHI is a major foreign player in the Philippines as the operator of the shipbuilding facility at the Subic Freeport Zone.

Besides agriculture, the Philippines places limitations on foreign ownership in the media and telecommunications industries.

 

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