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PIA Press Release

Illegal trade rampant in Davao’s backdoor

Davao City (18 January) -- Illegal trade is rampant trading in the three municipalities comprising the Jose Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani Cooperation Triangle (JAGS-CT), which is one reason why their local chief executives are exploring economic ties with neighboring islands of Indonesia.

Glan Mayor Enrique Yap confirmed on Monday at the Kapehan sa Dabaw that the illegal activity has been going on for years.

“It has been there for quite some time and the government has been deprived of revenues that could be derived from trading,” he said.

He said it is high time to check smuggling for legitimate trading activities to thrive.

He said progress has been slow in his municipality which is the oldest in the province, and the two other dead-end towns of Jose Abad Santos and Sarangani.

The JAGS-CT was launched on August 13, 2003 when the three municipalities signed a memorandum of agreement designating Jose Abad Santos as the lead town for trade and investment, Glan for agriculture and fisheries, and Sarangani for tourism.

After a series of consultations and brainstorming among leaders of the three towns, a group of 18 members left on Monday (January 17) for Manado, Indonesia to discuss with its partners possible joint economic ventures.

While in Manado, Jose Abad Santos mayor Alexander Wangkay they will look for products that can be sold in their towns. He said they will also find out which Philippine goods and services are needed by the Indonesians.

“We wanted to make the area like Subic although this will take time to realize,” he said.

He said they are eyeing Indonesia as a market for television sets.

“These will be low-end units assembled by PJC Electronic Corporation with parts coming from Japan, China and the Philippines,” he said.

The three towns also considering the sale of cattle, goats and fighting cocks which are in short supply in Indonesia.

Yap saw the potential for supplying fighting cocks because Manado wants to legalize cockfighting in the area.

There is also a potential market for hot pepper, which Indonesians love for their food but is in scarce in their area, he said.

The three mayors also said their focus would be on trade, investments, and security due to the traffic among Filipinos and Indonesians. (PIA/pdb) [top]

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