FOR local businessmen, the spate of killings in Bacolod City should not deter them from continuing their operations day and night.

Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said they should not show that they are worried about the series of shooting incidents, otherwise their customers will also feel the same.

"If we stop operations early or if we will be cowed, this will also send a negative signal to would-be investors in the city," he said, adding that these crimes should not just be considered as a mere police matter.

Carbon, also the vice president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in the Visayas, said the local government should likewise take into consideration the current social problem that could have led to these crimes.

The business leader added that they have high hopes that the incoming administration of Mayor-elect Alfredo Benitez will find ways to minimize the occurrence of these crimes.

"We need to trust that our local government and the police will be on top of the situation," he stressed.

Right after the assumption of the new city officials, the MBCCI will be meeting with Bacolod City Police Office Director (BCPO) Colonel Thomas Joseph Martir to discuss the matter.

"We also want to discuss the spate of killings with the new chairman of the city council's committee on police matters, if there is any," he said.

Since June 1 this year, 13 shooting incidents have occurred in the highly urbanized city claiming the lives of 10 victims.

Alarmed over the spate of killings, Benitez earlier said that he has committed to provide 100 more force multipliers to augment policemen in 10 police stations, and more gasoline to maximize patrols and police visibility.

He has also committed to provide legal assistance to policemen facing harassment or work-related cases, improved communication equipment, and a motor pool for repair of police vehicles.*