Philippines

GenSan biz climate ‘stable’ amid martial law

GenSan biz climate ‘stable’ amid martial law

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (Philippines News Agency) — The city’s business climate has remained stable amid the prevailing martial law in the entire Mindanao.

Arabecque Batilong, assistant head of the City Economic Management and Cooperative Development Office, said Thursday their assessment showed that business and investment-related activities in the city have continued to thrive since the declaration of martial law last May 23.

She said they did not receive reports of investments that were cancelled or businesses that suffered losses as a result of the move.

“Economic activities in the city are still normal and there have been no changes so far in terms of our business climate,” she said in a briefing.

Batilong said some micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the city felt that the martial law has even brought “positive impact” to their operations.

She specifically cited the case of 20 MSMEs that are presently enrolled in a business mentoring program jointly implemented by the city government and the Department of Trade and Industry.

The official said “almost 100 percent” of them appreciated President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s intent in declaring martial law and the need to extend it until the end of the year.

“Some of them reported that the prices of some food ingredients have gone down these past months and orders for their products increased significantly,” she said.

In terms of tourist arrivals, Batilong said the number of domestic visitors to the city has continued to increase since April.

CEMCDO recorded a total of 52,762 local visitors in April, 60,448 in May and 93,931 in June.

But for foreign tourists, she said the recorded arrivals have “slightly dropped” during the same period. A total of 822 foreign nationals visited the city in April, 768 in May and 615 in June.

Batilong said the drop in foreign tourist arrivals was mainly due to the travel advisories against travels to Mindanao issued by some embassies as a result of the continuing conflict in Marawi City.

She said some foreign tourists were forced to cancel their visits and bookings to some local hotels. “But overall, its effect to local tourism was not that drastic and the drop in tourist arrivals was not quite notable,” she added. (AVE/PNA)

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