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Fatal omission

Business sector seeks to lift of 2016 PRRD order that taints Mindanao’s reputation


A PHILIPPINE chamber official will push to lift Proclamation No. 55 due to its devastating repercussions on Mindanao’s economy and tourism.

During the Habi at Kape forum last week, Arturo Milan, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) area vice president for Mindanao, said that Proclamation 55, Declaring a State of National Emergency on Account of Lawless Violence in Mindanao, has not yet been lifted despite the drastic improvement in security in the region. 

As a result, various embassies worldwide continue to issue travel advisories against Mindanao based on that proclamation. 

He shared that they discovered this when Asian Development Bank (ADB) officials came to Davao City for a board meeting. At that time, the officials must seek special clearances from their embassies to travel to Davao because of Proclamation No. 55.

Milan added that they had discussed this matter with Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Mabel Acosta, and he would also present this in the PCCI board meeting on July 25 to lobby for the lifting of Proclamation No. 55.

“Mindanao is now part of the tourism map, and the Philippine Chamber is excited to have tourism circuits all over Mindanao so that we can encourage and prove that Davao is safe, sans the negative perceptions of many, especially outside Mindanao, that it is not safe,” he said.

Milan also clarified that martial law had been addressed but not the said proclamation, so it has to be lifted so that Mindanao can be cleared from the negative travel advisories.

Jennifer Romero, OIC of Davao City Tourism Operations Office, added that Davao is just one part of Mindanao, and they cannot push for promoting the city internationally if they do not address the stigma that Mindanao is not a safe place.

Proclamation No. 55 was signed on Sept. 4, 2016, by former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in light of the threats of further terror attacks and other similar acts of violence by lawless elements.

One of the bases for issuing the proclamation was the Roxas Night Market bombing on Sept. 2, 2016, which killed 14 people and injured a hundred others. 


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