Region’s Most Business-Friendly Province
South Cotabato stands out not only for its generous tax incentives but also as an optimal ecozone location for information technology, agro-industrial, and tourism sectors, boasting significant potential for exporting diverse high-value crops globally.
In fact, the province has been recognized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry [PCCI], the country’s largest conglomerate of business entities, as a leading contender for the title of Most Business-Friendly Province nationwide, attributed to its pioneering economic development initiatives and projects, making it the sole regional representative in the prestigious national award category.
Favorable trade and market access.
South Cotabato is a prominent agricultural hub in Region XII consisting of 85,000 farms spanning 197.9 thousand hectares. Its strategic proximity to Sarangani Bay and Makar Wharf optimizes trade connections with ASEAN and global markets, complemented by its adjacency to the productive Buluan Lake, the sixth largest lake in the nation and a key asset in the Bangsamoro Region. It was awarded the 9th most competitive province in the 2022 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) out of 83 provinces across the country.
Robust Economic Linkages
Hosting major regional and national agro-industrial giants including DOLE Philippines, Inc., SUMIFRU, Lapanday Global Fruits Corporation, Pioneer Hi-Breed Philippines, Truly Natural Food Corporation, Progressive Farms, Inc., BioTech Farms, Inc., San Miguel Corporation, Monterey Foods Corporation, and Dole Stanfilco, the province generates robust economic linkages that foster extensive local employment and heightened household income through multiplier effects.
Increasing Connectivity and Interdependencies Between Urban and Rural Centers
South Cotabato allocated Php908,931,857.43 Million in 2022 from various sources to construct 206 infrastructure projects, aimed at meeting the growing demands of tourism, technology, agro-industrial sectors, and more.
Stable Socio-Political Environment
In recent years, the Provincial Government of South Cotabato has demonstrated cohesive collaboration between its executive and legislative branches, evident in the augmented budget allocation for social welfare services. This includes offering free hospitalization to 39,112 patients within PGSC-Managed Hospitals and the effective implementation of vital social welfare programs that aided 27,566 individuals facing crises and vulnerable circumstances.
South Cotabato, with a robust skilled workforce, boasts a 96% employment rate in recent PSA-NSO Labor Force Survey. The province hosts 24 higher education institutions and 38 Technical-Vocational (Tech-Voc) academic institutions.
Innovative Waste Treatment Facilities and Efficient Crisis Response Capacity
South Cotabato achieved “Beyond Compliant” status at the 22nd Gawad KALASAG Seal and a Special Award for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian Assistance. Also, it received the CSC PAG-ASA Group Category award for its innovative South Cotabato Health Care Waste Treatment Facility (SCHCWTF), the first local government-operated Treatment, Storage, and Disposal (TSD) Facility for healthcare/infectious wastes in Mindanao.
South Cotabato’s strategic planning and prudent investments prioritize improving connectivity and interdependencies between urban and rural centers, guaranteeing fiscal sustainability, fostering community engagement, and enhancing staff involvement in public service for enduring success.
The award-winning Barangay Empowerment Program, facilitated by the South Cotabato PGO-Barangay Affairs Unit, leveraged a robust partnership with over 25,000 Reinforced Services Taskforce (RST) volunteers, resulting in effective execution of provincial government infrastructure and social welfare initiatives. Recently, the Most Outstanding Volunteer Award was conferred to the provincial government by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency and the National Economic and Development Authority XII.