Feature: Not even the whole of Basilan is on fire
by Romy Sabaldan
Davao City (30 August) -- Not even the whole of Basilan is in conflict. The fighting is contained in just one or two target barangays and lairs of the Abu Sayaf and yet even police authorities and media personalities in Metro Manila sensationalize the news as if the whole of Mindanao is on fire.
"Actually the conflict is only in faraway Basilan", explains Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. Executive Director Conrado T. Hernaez, Jr. in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) XI during the weekly Club 888-Marco Polo Davao business and sports forum.
"That is the stigma of Mindanao that we wanted to erase, Na hindi magulo ang Mindanao" adds Hernaez whose group is organizing the DATE 2007 Davao Trade Expo October 25-28, 2007 at the NCCC Mall, Matina Davao City.
Billed as "Invest in Davao: Gateway to BIMP-EAGA" the program hopes to be reflective of the true picture of Davao City and Mindanao, Hernaez said. We have more good things in Mindanao than just guns and bullets, he added.
What could be worse than a limited conflict sensationalized by a hi-tech media is the lack of economic-boosting facilities of a growing city, businessman Ferdinand Y. Maranon for his part indicated as he enumerated three of the worst setbacks that people and business in Mindanao could suffer.
The President and chief executive officer of Sagrex Foods Incorporated identified three problematic areas that is most worrisome. Topping his list is the Basilan conflict. Second is the lack of economic zones like the one in Cagayan de Oro and Cebu cities. And third is the lack of a modern cargo-handling facility. (PIA XI) [top]