A LOOMING extension of martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2017 is not expected to disrupt business and economic activities in the region, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said on Thursday.
In a press conference in Malacañang, Pernia, who is also the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said the declaration of martial law in Mindanao even assures investors’ safety.
“I cannot speculate. But so far, I was in Cagayan de Oro just the other day and there were businessmen there in the forum that we had in CDO. And many of them said that there’s no problem,” Pernia told reporters.
“Businesses are not being disrupted. In fact, they feel safer and more confident about the investment or business environment in Mindanao in general. As you know, the conflict is only limited to a small area in Mindanao — small fraction of the whole island,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in embattled Mindanao on May 23 after Islamic State-inspired Maute terrorists stormed into Marawi City in a bid to establish a wilaya (province) for IS fighters in the southern Philippines.
As of July 19, the government has reported the deaths of 45 civilians, 421 Islamist militants, and 99 government forces in the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi City.