Pushing for economic growth is a serious herculean task that has to be properly addressed. The commitment of the government on one hand and the participation of private sectors on the other are crucial complementation in building an economically stable community. The importance of this complementation is recognized such that local framers institutionalized an economic office to provide a systematic mechanism in addressing present immediate issues and future societal goals. At the outset, it must be emphasized that there are three technical divisions in the department which were purposely created to cater the needs unique to the demands of the city. These are investments, tourism, and cooperative and special projects divisions alongside an administrative unit ancillary to them. The divisions work under the precept of creative cooperation – to each division is its own function to deliver a department plan. In an aptly definitive approach, these divisions complement with each other, or synergize in theoretical contemplation, to achieve office mandate, that is, economic growth.
Attracting business is a constant duty implicit in Investments Division. This can be done by promoting the investment priority areas and other business opportunities like special economic zones and solicited project proposals for public-private partnerships. Before promoting however, are various activities happening on the ground, basically to set the playing field for investors. It is the business environment enhancement where private sectors are consulted for governmental decisions such as the streamlining of business processes and other economic issues to improve competitiveness. Once entrepreneurs are lured and decided to capitalize, the division facilitates for their investments. We are then gradually addressing employment and revenue generation brought about by the domino effect.
Primarily anchored on making General Santos City (Gensan) as a tourist destination, Tourism Division is one of the keyplayers in building the image of the city and promoting the same by developing the resources innate to it – history, culture, heritage and destinations. As an indispensable element of local economy, it shall utilize the city’s advantages into creating an ecologically sustainable, participative and culturally sensitive tourism industry. In simple words, it will promote Gensan such that tourists will flock in the city. In this way, tourists will incur average daily expenditure while staying in Gensan. All said, these consumers who later became the market will find its haven and thus create the demand. This is where possibilities set in.
Special Project and Cooperative Division
Economic development can be fully attained only if inclusive growth is felt by the people. Hence, investments will not have to be focused on the propriety of huge investors only but on the development of the people as well. Thusly, cooperatives which are membership of the people who have agreed to pool resources to undertake enterprise for mutual benefits are encouraged. In this way, the division gives assistance to the people especially those in the grassroots to improve their standards of living and quality of life. Other initiatives may be by way trainings or other special projects which the division found feasible to undertake. Quoting Stephen Covey, a popular businessman and author, “Synergy is better than my way or your way. It is our way.” In CEMCDO, no amount of strategy can deter the synergized functions of the divisions in achieving departmental goals. While each division are different in ways, the interdependence of the other towards another is essential element to the success of the organization and in the realization of societal goals. Thus, to give more emphasis to the interdependence, the CEMCDO SYNERGY was conceptualized in 2012, spearheaded by the Investments Division team – Joaquin Tiongco, Leila Rivera, Ronan Villagonzalo, Juris Cerbo, Darlon Solana, Dianne Acharon, Stewart Ang, and Segmundo Capada, under the wings of Ms. Meriam L. Buguis, the then City Government Department Head II. CEMCDO is one for economic development.
(CEMCDO DIGEST, Volume No. 1, Maiden issue)