MINDANAO issues like the ongoing power crisis and peace talks took center stage during a business forum hosted by auditing firm SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co (SGV) at the Marco Polo Davao, Friday.

Ateneo de Manila University professor on economics and former National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Director Cielito Habito discussed the recent actions of government, particularly on the global financial crisis and the peace and order situation in Mindanao.

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In his discussion, Habito pointed out the absence or the lack of government investments in public housing, a far cry from the investments made by leading economies in Southeast Asia in the same sector.

The role of economic development in paving the way for the success of peace talks in Mindanao was also pointed out by Habito.

Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) president and chief executive officer Reynaldo David, for his part, discussed the prospects of investment in Mindanao, as well as the role of the government financial institution in providing loans for business ventures and developmental projects.

David discussed the growing loan portfolio of Mindanao with respect to the bank's assets and liabilities, ranking only third compared to Luzon and Visayas.

The prospect of investments in renewable energy sources in Mindanao was also discussed by the DBP president.

"The President (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) has ordered us to facilitate for the purchase and lease of power generating units," David said.

The Davao Business Forum is part of SGV's thought leadership program, which aims to build open information exchange, promote innovative thinking, and provide business leaders with critical tools and best practices that they can use to grow their businesses. (CPM)