The Integrated Coconut Processing Plant is located in the Municipality of Tupi in South Cotabato, approximately 36 kilometers from the port city of General Santos. Tupi is a first class municipality with a population of 62,000. The total land area of Tupi is 31,150 hectares.
The Municipality of Tupi sits on a valley, nestled between Mt. Matutum in the east and Mt. Parker in the west. It has an elevation of 1,064 feet above sea level. The weather in Tupi is generally cool and rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. South Cotabato is outside the country’s typhoon belt.
Tupi is an agricultural municipality with 91% of its total land area being utilized for agricultural production. The major products are pineapple, papaya, asparagus, corn, coffee, bananas, cut flowers, among other high-value commercial crops, wood products, and processed food. Coconut is also extensively grown in its fifteen (15) barangays.
The major business establishments that have established operations within the municipality are Progressive Farms, Kablon Farms, Dole Philippines, Blooming Petals, Inc., Central Universal Corporation, and other large-scale livestock and poultry raisers.
South Cotabato in Southern Mindanao and, in particular, Tupi town, is an excellent location to put up the facility for several reasons.
Good peace and order conditions
Historically, since its creation in September 1953, Tupi has been generally peaceful, except for some minor clashes brought about by ethnic differences in the late fifties and early sixties. Only one minor disturbance was experienced by the municipality, which occurred 42 years ago in late 1974 involving a minor confrontation between Moslem separatists and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
At present, peace and order continues to prevail in Tupi and most of South Cotabato. It remains as one of the safest and peaceful municipalities in the country.
As a testimony, South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes cited in 2014 top police officials in the province for the remarkable performance in their anti-criminality campaign — particularly in the drive against the proliferation of illegal drugs, carnapping, illegal gambling, and illegal mining. Governor Fuentes also expressed her gratitude to the police officials for their accomplishments and stated that this has helped sustain the overall stable peace and order situation in the province.
It is also worth noting that the general populace of the Tupi municipality is contented and peace-loving, which has likewise helped deter the increase in insurgency movements and criminality.
Friendly business and political environment
The province of South Cotabato provides fiscal incentives to new and pioneering business enterprises. Such incentives include a five-year exemption from payment of real property taxes, inclusive of the Special Education Fund and Transfer Tax on acquired properties to be utilized for business. Tupi in particular provides a five-year local business tax holiday.
Tupi is home to many companies such as Progressive Farms, Kablon Farms, Dole Philippines, Blooming Petals, Inc., Central Universal Corporation, and Matutum Tropical Fruits’ Association (Matrofa). The presence of these major business establishments is a testimony to the prevailing friendly business environment in Tupi and South Cotabato.
Tupi is also home to numerous SMEs such as V Motril’s Food Products, Tupi Balangon Farmer’s Association, Kablon Farm Foods Corporation (KFFC), JNB Diversified Food Industries, Mindanao Cocofiber Company, and Mindanawan Coco Sugar Corporation.
Abundant supply of coconuts
Total area planted to coconuts in SOCCSKSARGEN is estimated at 250,000 hectares. The entire region produced 1,774,208 metric tons of coconuts in CY2015.
South Cotabato’s total production of coconuts in 2014 was 210,998 metric tons, equivalent to seven times the annual requirement of the processing plant for year 1. At the plant’s full capacity, nut supply will still be more than double the requirement. This assumes the current density of fruit-bearing trees which is still low and have more volume potential in the coming years, given the on-going support from the local government and the Philippine Coconut Authority on tree propagation and yield improvement.
The total SOCCSKSARGEN region is capable of supplying almost 20 times the company’s total annual requirement at full capacity.
Availability of skilled and semi-skilled labor
Skilled and semi-skilled workers are readily available from the surrounding communities.
Availability of reliable electricity
The second district of South Cotabato Electric Cooperative (SOCOTECO-II) supplies the electricity in Tupi. This power distributor sources majority of its power requirements from the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) while the balance are drawn from various Independent Power Producers (IPP) from nearby power plants and barges.
The power shortage in Mindanao has been addressed by the repair and rehabilitation of the 210-megawatt STEAG coal-fired power plant in the Phividec estate in Misamis Oriental, and the continuing repair and rehabilitation of existing hydroelectric power plants in Mindanao.
Power supply to Mindanao has been increased with the commissioning of the 300-megawatt Aboitiz-owned coal-fired plant in Davao, and the 210-megawatt coal-fired plant of the Alson’s group in Sarangani province. An on-going development is another 150- megawatt power plant of San Miguel Corporation.
In South Cotabato, the 5-megawatt Solar Plant by NV Vogt Philippines Inc. in Surallah is already operational. Under study is a 35-megawatt hydro-electric plant in Lake Sebu town of South Cotabato by the South Korean-backed firm, DongJoo Engineering Co., Ltd. (DJE).
Excellent Infrastructure Facilities and Accessibility
Ocean Transportation — The Makar Wharf is the main international shipping sea port of General Santos City and SOCCSKSARGEN. It is one of the finest sea ports in the country. It is located in Barangay Labangal, away from the central business district of General Santos City. With 740 metres (2,430 ft) docking length and 19 metres (62 ft) width, the wharf can simultaneously handle up to nine (9) ship berthing positions at any time. The port is equipped with modern facilities like container yards, storage, and weighing bridges.
Negros Navigation, SuperFerry and Sulpicio Lines provide inter-island shipping service.
Yang Ming, Evergreen, CMA-CGM, Maersk Lines, and American President Lines (APL) provide international shipping service.
Air Transportation — The General Santos International Airport is the largest airport in Mindanao. It has a 3,227-meter concrete runway capable of handling wide-bodied jets like the Airbus A340 and Boeing 747-400. The airport is often used as an alternative for Davao flights.
Flights to and from Manila, Iloilo, and Cebu cities are currently being provided by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air.
Communication — Modern and state-of-the-art communication facilities at par with global standards are readily available in South Cotabato. The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company provides fixed line services. Wireless mobile communications services are provided by Smart Communications, Globe Telecommunications, and Sun Cellular. These include voice, data, internet, and network solutions, among others, in both wired and mobile forms.
Road Network — South Cotabato has one of the best road systems in the country. The Koronadal-General Santos highway is a four-lane concrete highway, and in some towns, being expanded to either six or eight lanes.
The road widening of the Davao-General Santos highway link, planned by the Department of Public Works and Highways, will convert the road networks into high standard highways in support of the Davao and General Santos export gateways. A similar road system improvement project will also be undertaken in northern Mindanao, Caraga, and Western Mindanao export gateways.
Farm to market roads linking Tupi to Banga and T’boli are also currently under construction and rehabilitation.