The imposition of martial law in Mindanao has not affected the commercial activities in the island, specifically in Northern Mindanao, the chief of the Department of Trade and Industry in Region 10 (DTI-10) said.
“With or without martial law, we had plenty of investors [in the region],” said DTI-10 Director Linda Boniao during a press conference here.
One of the biggest investments Boniao cited was the opening of the PHP1-billion Gardenia bread factory at the Phividec Industrial Estate in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, which was inaugurated in March this year.
Martial law was declared by President Rodrigo Duterte as armed extremists laid siege to Marawi City on May 23, 2017.
After the Lower House and the Senate approved for its extension twice, martial law is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019. Duterte has announced he will not push for another extension.
Even at the height of the war in Marawi, the movement of trade and commerce in the region has not really suffered, she said, considering that the besieged city is just some 37.9 kilometers from Iligan City, the nearest urban area from Marawi City.
“I think business have their own time. Even if there’s war or martial law, there’s business,” Boniao said.
Data provided by DTI-10 indicate that in 2018, investments in the region has reached more than PHP29 billion, Misamis Oriental having the biggest with PHP21.4 billion or 72.5 percent, in infrastructure, energy, and mining.
This was followed by Bukidnon with PHP6.5 billion or 22.2 percent, in agri-based investments, infrastructure, and servicing; Misamis Occidental with PHP877 million or 2.97 percent, in trading, servicing, and agri-based businesses; Lanao del Norte with PHP577 million or 1.95 percent, in trading, servicing, and infrastructure; Camiguin with PHP67.8 million or 0.2 percent, in servicing, trading, and agri-based investments. (PNA)