Editorial: Business as usual

DAVAO has shown the way with the successful weeklong run of Kadayawan sa Dabaw festival. Now comes several other festivals and major gatherings: The tuna festival of General Santos City, the Kagay-an Festival in Cagayan de Oro City, the Hugyaw Madayaw Samal of the Island Garden City of Samal, Megayon Festival of Zamboanga del Sur, Fiesta Pilar of Zamboanga City, Lanzones Festival of Camiguin, Bonok-bonok Festival of Surigao City, and the 17th Mindanao Business Conference, which will be held this week in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.

This does not mean that we throw all caution to the wind and just party throughout all these festivals. We have to admit, times are tense, and there is some uncertainty as we're dealing with rogue elements of an armed group, the leadership of which is fast to deny involvement in any attacks.

However, that does not mean that the Mindanao people will be cowered and slink into their homes, fearful of everything and everyone.

The private sector has stated it quite correctly, "Mindanao is still in business."

The day that Mindanao will stop its usual activities to cower in fear will be the day that the rogue elements of our island have succeeded. That the economy will grind to a halt, which there will be heightened unrest and distrust of government is what those against the government's wants. It doesn't matter is in the process, tens of thousands will lose their livelihood, or suffer hunger. People, after all, are just collateral damage in these kinds of war.

Vigilance is still on top of the list of our roles as citizens of this island. It is up to us to keep an eye on our communities to observe anything unusual that's going on. It is up to us to forge strong communities who will take care of each other. It is up to us to keep on living because we have chosen Mindanao as our homeland.

As a news release from the USAid's Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) quoted Mindanao Business Council and Regional Development Council 11 chair Vicente Lao, "These things have happened before and you just take them in stride. The benefits you stand to gain from doing business in Mindanao still far exceed the risks you factor into locating here." (sun-star)


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