[ Manila Bulletin Online ] December 27, 2008
By RESTITUTO A. CAYUBIT
CATBALOGAN CITY, Western Samar – With the declaration that the island Province of Biliran is "insurgency free," it is now being considered as a place conducive for investments.
Investors can now pour in capital in the province without fear of rebel harassment, the top military official in Eastern Visayas told media people during a recent press conference.
Maj. Gen. Arthur Tabaquero, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division (8ID) of the Philippine Army based at Camp Lukban, Barangay Maulong, this city, told reporters in a press conference that with the success of the military in liberating the island province from the communist rebels, the island is now a place of peace and development.
Tabaquero said that the business in the island province will boom because it is now favorable for business.
He said that a condition of peace and order in an area is one of the vital factors in considering a place for investments.
The presence of the rebels in a certain place discourages investors to engage in business, he said.
He also said that with the rebels now neutralized and the peace and order in the area now handled by the police, there is now investors’ confidence to do business in Biliran.
The communist rebels could no longer pose any major security problem to the area, he said. "There is no longer CPP-NPA influence in the area because the military has already succeeded in driving away the rebels," he told the media people.
The residents of the island province have cooperated with the military in the fight against insurgency because they realize that peace is a vital factor in development," he said.
Tabaquero expressed optimism that progress and development will come to Biliran, saying that because the province is now peaceful, it is a good place for investments that can provide jobs to the people.
Meanwhile, the congressman of the lone district of Biliran said he will focus on development projects that could result in business-friendly environment.
Rep. Glenn Chong, 34, told reporters at another press conference held in his district office in the capital town of Naval that his thrust of development is geared towards the creation of a business-friendly environment.
The investments in his province, he said, will provide jobs to his constituents.
Chong said that BIliran needs infrastructure and electricity projects as foundation for development.
In line with this goal, he said, the development efforts include the implementation of geothermal projects to generate electricity for the province.
The infrastructure projects are needed to improve transportation in the island province, he said.
He said that the towns of Naval and Caibiran have great potentials for geothermal energy development. With the stable supply of electricity from the geothermal fields, the price of power would go down, and this will further encourage businessmen to invest in the province, he said.
He said that road-concreting projects in towns which do not have yet concrete roads will provide better transportation.