MTIT shares programs, services in promoting trade, investments, and tourism in the Bangsamoro

COTABATO CITY (Dec. 14, 2021) — The Director General of Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism (MTIT), Rosslaini Alonto-Sinarimbo shared the ministry’s program and services in promoting trade, industry, and tourism in the new Bangsamoro region during the 29th episode of the Kaularan sa Bangsamoro hosted by Bangsamoro Multimedia Network (BMN) Inc. last Wednesday, December 08, 2021.
Alonto-Sinarimbo said the MTIT is one of the unique ministries in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“If you could remember, before the establishment of Bangsamoro government, we have separate departments, these were the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism, and Board of Investments, but in today’s Bangsamoro government, the three major offices and agencies joined forces to form a ministry and that’s the Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism,” she narrated.
The director-general mentioned about the Eco Zone Development and Freeport of Polloc in which it is under the ministry’s supervision. “It [MTIT] is quite wide in scope and one of the ‘super ministries’ of the Bangsamoro,” she pronounced.
Alonto-Sinarimbo said that the mandate of MTIT is based on the R.A. 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law where the ministry is given twenty six (26) enumerated powers derived from the national and was assigned in the Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism.
“The mandate is said to be “About the Trade, Investments, and Tourism, and the Ecozone Development,” she underscored.

Citing the ministry’s major programs she said, “The function of the DTI passed to the MTIT, firstly, the registration of the business name or renewing of business names. We are also monitoring the process of primary products and commodities, because the unprocessed and fresh products are being handled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR).”
“Aside from that we have Negosyo Centers spread in the Region, right now it has reached seventeen (17) Negosyo Centers. These centers with the partnership with the Local Government Units and few of the services of MTIT will be seen inside of these centers,” she said.
The director-general said there is no need to go to the MTIT’s regional or provincial office since Negosyo Centers are present in the partner municipalities. “That’s what we intend to do and to build more— Negosyo Centers to be replicated in the ground—in the municipal level or even in the barangay level,” she added.
Alonto-Sinarimbo said under the Industry Cluster Development Program where our winning products-- industries are being promoted in the region like the rubber in Basilan, Abaka in Lanao Del Sur, sea weeds for Tawi-Tawi, Coffee in Sulu in which it is very famous, and palm oil and coconut for Maguindanao.
“Accreditation of tourism establishments and for investments we are assisting the major investments in where they’ll deposit their capital in the Bangsamoro and we will pass it to Bangsamoro Board of Investments, because they’re our incentive giving body that approves the incentives of these huge entrepreneurs in our region,” DG Rosslaini narrated.
She further conveyed that they have Polloc port as Freeport which is still being improved. It is the only one in the entire region where we have an Economic zone at the same time Freeport and that’s the one, shall we say, which welcomes our investors; they could deposit a capital and transport their goods in our ports.”
“Bangsamoro Economic Zone Authority, they’re the ones who declare— assist our investors if they want to locate in the Bangsamoro,” Alonto-Sinarimbo added.
She said, “Tawi-Tawi is leading in the seaweeds production, in fact the region is leading with the combined Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Maguindanao, and Sulu production, we’re number one producer of seaweeds in the entire country but how do we convert the seaweeds in a sum of money? We need the right process with standard.”
The director-general mentioned the ministries they work together with other ministries in conducting some of their services like the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) for production, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) for research and technology and preservation of food, Ministry of Health (MOH) for the issuance of License to Operate.
For tourism, she said the MTIT partnered with the PNP Security Sector, Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) for linkages in terms of variety of vehicles that tourists could use, and Ministry of Public Works (MPW) for the construction of roads in order to accommodate tourist spots in the region.
She also shared the Networking Investment for Local Executives citing, “It’s a duty and an obligation of a LGU not only to protect its people, but to promote investments because through investments, through establishment of businesses small, or large, medium, this helps in creating jobs for our citizens and LGUs want their businesses to flourish, because this is not just promotion of their places, but an income to an LGU.”
According to Alonto-Sinarimbo, the ministry also held a photo contests harnessing the beauty of the region in promotion of tourism. The output of the participants were uploaded in their social media account and gained a lot of attention. The ministry also conducted a few training sessions for the Local Government Units on how to manage these tourist spots.

She also shared the TOP-COP Program which started from the province of Tawi-tawi. This program is training for what they call Tourism Police. This program is to ensure the Peace and Security of the province, “We’re preparing Tawi-Tawi for the influx of tourists,” as the Tawi-Tawi provided establishments and resorts and is now gaining the attention of the tourists.
The director-general further shared their program for producers like coffee farmers by training them on the right selection of beans and actual product processing to improve product quality that will help increase their income.
The MTIT executive discouraged reliance to block grant or IRA. “We could only get the other incomes if our businesses flourish, be it tourism, small scale and medium enterprises of food processing, services, trading, and manufacturing. These are the potential that we observe in the Bangsamoro in order to attain income generating through revenues. If there will be businesses it will translate into a job for our people,” she explained.
She looks forward on strengthening and promoting the region as Halal hub and barter trading which is also a promising industry.