MANILA, Philippines — Investment commitments totaling USD 14.2 billion, secured by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. through international engagements over the past 16 months, have started to materialize, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced on Sunday. These investments, derived from 46 projects, are now either operational or have been formally registered with the nation's investment promotion agencies.
According to Philippines News Agency, this influx of foreign investments spans various sectors, with 16 projects in manufacturing, 10 in information technology and business process management (ITBPM), and nine focusing on renewable energy. Japan and the United States are the primary contributors, with 21 and 13 projects respectively.
The DTI highlighted ongoing pre-implementation and planning activities for an additional 102 projects. These endeavors, representing USD 58 billion in investment pledges, are currently in various stages of development in their home countries.
A pivotal factor in accelerating the realization of these investment pledges has been the establishment of the One-Stop Action Center for Strategic Investments (OSAC-SI) by the DTI. The OSAC-SI facilitates and expedites the processing of significant investments, offering endorsements for "green lane" treatment, which ensures swift handling by both national and local government entities in terms of business permitting, licensing, and the acquisition of necessary documents.
To date, the DTI reported that the OSAC-SI has issued green lane certifications to 41 projects, with 20 of these commitments made during President Marcos's foreign trips. This initiative underscores the Philippine government's commitment to transforming investment pledges into tangible projects, reinforcing the country's position as a preferred destination for international investors.BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Law enforcement officers arrested five individuals and confiscated over PHP4 million worth of shabu in separate operations conducted in Bacolod and San Carlos cities in Negros Occidental this past weekend.
According to Philippines News Agency, Gen. Sidney Villaflor, regional director of Police Regional Office-Western Visayas, the significant amount of illegal drugs recovered highlights the relentless efforts of regional law enforcement to curb the drug trade. The operations underscore the commitment to dismantling illegal drug networks in the area.
In Bacolod City, a sting operation by the Bacolod City Police Office-City Drug Enforcement Unit led to the arrest of Ma. Faith Salaver Equibal, 56, at approximately 10 p.m. on Saturday. Equibal, considered a high-value individual in the local drug scene, was apprehended in Purok Narra Baybay, Barangay 8, after she sold a sachet of shabu worth PHP20,000 to an undercover officer. A subsequent search resulted in the seizure of 312 grams of shabu from Equibal, valued at PHP2.121 million.
Further north in San Carlos City, a buy-bust operation around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday resulted in the arrest of four suspects on Hope Street in Barangay 5. The individuals, identified as Carlos Dela Peña Opciar, 29; Julius Oscaris Escanillan, 29; Alexis Jeffer Colbe Damandaman, 27; and Reynaldo Abao Dela Peña, 24, were found in possession of 18 plastic sachets containing approximately 300 grams of shabu, with an estimated value of PHP2.06 million. Opciar and Escanillan, both ranked ninth in the city's drug watchlist and categorized as high-value individuals, along with their associates, face charges under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act (Republic Act 9165).
The operations in these two cities represent a significant blow to the illegal drug trade in Negros Occidental, with law enforcement agencies continuing their vigilance against drug-related activities.