Bacolod: NegOr biz sector welcomes SIPS declaration

photo courtesy of The Visayan Daily Star

Bacolod City – The business community in Negros Oriental welcomed the recommendation of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) for the province be granted the status of Stable Internal Peace and Security (SIPS).

Edward Du, president of the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the move will have a positive impact on the business sector.

“For us in the business sector, this has been a dream because ever since, the province has been perceived as not peaceful. We are hopeful that with the move for this SIPS, more investors will come to the province,” Du said in an interview with Philippine Information Office 7.

The proposal to grant Negros Oriental with a SIPS status was recommended Brig. Gen. Joey Escanillas, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, who cited the dismantling of all guerrilla fronts operating in the province and the absence of major violence and incidents perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) as the significant factors for the declaration of SIPS.

It was approved by the Negros Oriental Provincial Peace and Order Council during its recent meeting in Dumaguete City.

Last month, the Negros Occidental PPOC also declared the province under SIPS status.

The declaration of SIPS status in Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental are expected to be concurred by their respective Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

Escanillas said that the SIPS status is a key factor in boosting the local tourism industry, as well as encouraging business entrepreneurs to venture and attain sustainable progress.

He explained that declaring a state of SIPS does not mean the province is insurgency-free, as there are still remnants of the guerilla fronts who will be the subject of relentless focused military operations.

Escanillas, however, assured that Army troops in Negros Oriental would not be pulled out after the declaration.

“We will still cooperate to maintain the peace and order, especially in the sitios because they are most vulnerable and it is where the recruitment started by the communist terrorist groups, particularly in the GIDAS or geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas,” he stressed. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star with additional report from Philippine News Agency)

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