By lovely a. carillo
As Cavendish bananas remain to be a top export commodity of Davao, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) believes the recent attack on the agribusiness facilities of Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) in Mandug last week may impact on the region’s Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) target for this year.
The region has surpassed the national growth rate for the fifth consecutive year, with a 9.4% GRDP last year compared to the national average of 6.9% during the same period. The region posted an 8.2% growth rate in 2015 compared to the 6.1% national growth rate. This year, the region is eyeing an 8.6-9.6% growth rate.
“We expect to have a dent in the region’s export capability knowing that Lapanday is one of our very strong partners from the banana sector in the production of cavendish bananas,” NEDA Davao Regional Director Ma. Lourdes D. Lim said in an interview during the 2016 Report on the Economic Performance of Davao Region yesterday.
The New People’s Army attacked three of LFC’s facilities last Saturday. The rebels burned down two of the company’s box plants in Barangay Tigatto, Mandug as well as its plastics plant in Bunawan. The rebels also disarmed security guards at the Lorenzo Farm in Calinan.
“Lapanday suffered around P2 billion in losses while (hundreds) of employees have been displaced by the attacks on the company,” Lim said. We expect the company would still have faith in rehabilitating their business in the city and the rest of the region but one of our concerns is the displaced workers,” she added.
LFC earlier said the reconstruction of the burned box and plastic plants would take around P2 billion. Manolito Dagatan, chief financial officer of LFC said these are among Lapanday’s biggest investments in the city. The box plant, which sits on a two-hectare property, was built in 2005. It will take two to three years to rebuild the property.
Lim said the region needs to be more globally competitive in light of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration. It also has to squarely address not only global terrorism but domestic insurgencies, as well as the increasing vulnerability of communities to climate change, she added.