AIR OF OPTIMISM

It’s a setback, yes. But only temporary.

Business leaders in Davao City expressed optimism on Tuesday that the city and the rest of Mindanao will rise from the destruction and trauma brought by recent damaging earthquakes.

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc (DCCCII) President Arturo Milan said he believes that investors who have already invested in Davao will continue but those who are still planning may be on a wait and see mode.

“But I am pretty sure it will go back to the pre-earthquake time after a couple of months. I have faith in the Mindanaons, we are very resilient people and we can always rise from the adversity,” Milan told Edge Davao.

The attractiveness of Davao City to investors may falter for now, according to Milan, but will definitely spring back very quickly because of the resilient character of Davaoeños and Mindanaoans. In fact, it’s this disaster resiliency paradigm that is among the factors seen by business leaders that will help the city and the island bounce back again after a disaster.  

Business leader and former Mindanao Business Council (MBC) Chair Joji Ilagan-Bian also echoed Milan’s optimism saying the impact of the earthquakes on the business sector will be shortlived and will be very nil considering the gains that Davao had amassed in the past.

“These are natural disasters and it can happen anywhere in the world. We had shown the world how efficient and disciplined we are in responding to these disaster, how our LGU’s had ensured the safety of the city. We should be back in our feet at no time at all. Its business as usual now and there is nothing and no disaster (manmade or natural) that can stop Davao’s economic boom,” Bian said.

Another business group, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines-Southern Mindanao Business Council (ECCP-SMBC), expressed support in the implementation of regular earthquake drills to prepare company employees in situations that can affect their safety. 

ECCP-SMBC Chair Antonio Peralta said they also supports the government safety programs as established by the City’s 911 Command Center.

“We enjoin our members to follow the safety guidelines established by Philvocs on handling natural calamities such as earthquakes in order to ensure the safety of its employees as well as undertaking periodic checks on the structural integrity of its office and factory premises,” Peralta said.  

Peralta added that ECCP-SMBC has started soliciting donations of needed supplies from their members nationwide to help the communities damaged by major earthquakes.

He also said part of the proceeds of the 2nd ECCP Mindanao Golf Challenge will be donated to these communities through established organizations such as the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and Save the Children Foundation.
“These organizations are actively helping in the relief efforts in areas affected by major earthquakes that hit us over the last three weeks,” Peralta said.