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PIA Press Release
2005/01/18

Growth triangle a boon to Sarangani, Davsur

by RG Alama

Davao City (18 January) -- The Jose Abad Santos-Glan-Sarangani Cooperation Triangle composed of two southernmost Davao del Sur municipalities of Jose Abad Santos and Sarangani and the neighboring town of Glan in Sarangani province is expected to bring long-term benefits not just to the three municipalities but also to the respective provinces they belong.

“In the past, we were invited by officials from Sangir-Talaud, which is our nearest neighbor in Indonesia, to form a growth area. It is in forming the growth triangle that we are replying to their invitation,” Jose Abad Santos Mayor Alex Wangkay said.

The three municipalities are the nearest neighbors to Indonesia, with Sarangani island just a four-hour seacraft ride away from Maorori island. The people in these three municipalities have long engaged in backdoor trading of soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and slippers.

The three municipalities also hosts a large Indonesian population, owing to their proximity. Wangkay himself is of Filipino-Indonesian descent.

JAGS-CT is envisioned as a small growth area within the sphere of the Brunei-Indonesian-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). It is expected to facilitate trade and commerce between the three municipalities and the Indonesian towns and cities in Sangir Talaud, Bitung, Manado and North Sulawesi.

JAGS-CT is also expected to facilitate the monitoring of migration between the two areas, where there is an undocumented passage of Indonesians and Filipinos.

“If there is a growth area here, immigration will be monitored because a customs and immigration office will be set up in the area,” Wangkay said.

Mayor Enrique Yap also said the growth triangle would also benefit backdoor traders as it would legalize their trade while earning revenues for the Government.

Yesterday Mayors Alex Wangkay of Jose Abad Santos, Jerry Cawa of Sarangani and Enrique Yap of Glan proceeded to Manado to meet sign a sisterhood agreement with the predominantly Christian city. They are also conducting exploratory trade talks with their Indonesian counterparts.

The local chief executives plan to export locally assembled TV sets, livestock, fighting cocks, local peppers spices to Indonesia at the same time promote their tourist attractions to their southern neighbor. (PIA) [top]

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