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DAVAO City has turned into a magnet for foreign investors thanks to the rumored presidential run of its popular mayor, Rodrigo Duterte.

Sun.Star Davao reported that an unusual number of investors–mostly foreigners with interests in agribusiness–have been turning up in the city for public private partnership (PPP) projects.

On top of that, these businessmen have also shown an eagerness to personally meet Mayor Duterte.

“This is also an indication that they are interested in Davao City, simply because it can be the place of the next president of the Philippines. [That is] if the mayor will decide to run,” said Ivan Cortez, chief of the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC).

Cortez said the local government has been receiving three to four potential investors a week, a trend which began three months ago. This has resulted to a “four to six percent increase in investments,” he noted.

Known for his no-nonsense policy toward peace and order issues, Duterte has proven to be the strongest presidential contender from the south. He has repeatedly shot down calls to throw his hat in the 2016 Malacañang race, but his popularity hasn’t wavered.

In fact, he came in tied for third place in the last survey conducted by independent pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) concerning potential presidential candidates. (Randy K. Ortega)