PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, September 6, encouraged investors to put their money in the Visayas, particularly in Cebu and Bohol, instead of investing in Western Mindanao.
Duterte made the call before the business players during the grand opening of Dusit D2 Hotel in Davao City on Friday night.
He issued the statement, as he admitted that he does not welcome any new investment and economic activities in the western Mindanao.
“You have to consider the law and order of Mindanao. I do not recommend any new economic activity or investment on the western side, especially in the islands there. I do not think that it would be prudent for you to consider it,” the President told his audience.
“Upwards, towards the north, Visayas, would be a good place to just look and think of the things that you can do or invest your money in those places... Cebu and Bohol are really good places to consider,” he added.
But despite his appeal, the President said he was still keen to look for a “workable solution for all” in Mindanao “in fullness off God’s time.”
He said that for now, his administration would focus on addressing problems in the besieged region, including the continuing presence of the communist movement New People’s Army (NPA).
“The NPAs remains to be a big problem,” he said. “There’s quite an activity there of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Well, by the way, I just hope that we’d be able to do something about it before my term ends.”
Duterte stressed that there is a need to “shape Mindanao whether for the worse of for the better.”
He, however, acknowledged the drop in conflict incidents following the signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which paved the way for the establishment of the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“We have been able to strike a solution in central Mindanao. There is less fighting now because of the BOL. And I’d like to congratulate my brother Muslims, Moros of Mindanao that there has been almost no incident here in the central Mindanao area,” Duterte said. (SunStar Philippines)