• Business as usual in Mindanao amid disasters

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    It’s business as usual in Mindanao despite the bombings, flooding and energy woes that beset the island region, according to the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PPCI) and other sectors.

    PPCI officials averred that resilience remains strong among Mindanao’s tri-people of Christian, Muslim, and tribesmen in the face of the spawned by natural and man-made calamities on business ventures in the island region.

    “The more challenges surfacing along the way, the more Mindanao people become resilient in striving to see the fulfillment of the age-old promise in the region…and bring it to greater heights,” PCCI Vice President for Mindanao Ricardo Arellano told a local radio station in Filipino on Friday.

    Arellano helped organized Thursday’s 22nd Mindanao Business Conference in Davao City which President Benigno Aquino 3rd personally graced with his administration’s current efforts addressing peace and energy supply woes in Southern Philippines.

    President Aquino called for patience among stakeholders, saying that solving security concerns and power shortage in any parts of the country cannot be achieved overnight.

    He also pressed for cohesive efforts for the current peace processes and for the private-public partnership campaign for renewable energy supply development in Mindanao.

    Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Public Works Secretary Emil Sadain said the President was also set to tackle a comprehensive flood control project proposal with the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda).

    Six separate bombings rocked various parts of Mindanao since July 26 as floods displaced over 60,000 families in more than 40 towns in the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato and South Cotabato to include the cities of Cotabato, Zambonaga and Koronadal. The stigma has been compounded by incessant power interruptions caused by reported deficiency in Mindanao’s energy supply.

    The Mindanao-wide business summit was one the eve of the celebration of Eid’I Fitr for the end of the Ramadhan fasting.

    For Friday’s Islamic feast, President Aquino 3rd and Vice President Jejomar Binay issued separate messages greeting the Muslims for their fulfilling again the mandatory fasting, and urging them to uphold the essence of piety and perseverance towards peace and community-building.

    In a separate message, Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo also greeted the Muslims with a call for their continued pursuance of the Islamic teaching on peaceful coexistence with people of other faiths.

    The Catholic prelate said that a robust Muslim-Christian solidarity is the one factor that enables the people of Mindanao to withstand perennial challenges of natural and man-made disasters.

    ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman corroborated the calls of the country’s top elected officials and Archbishop Quevedo, saying that only through “united” efforts that the stigma of socio-economic and peace initiatives can be mitigated. MOH I. SAADUDDIN

     

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