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Biz groups elated with Basilan’s Galing Pook Award

John Unson - Philstar.com
Biz groups elated with Basilanâs Galing Pook Award
The Basilan Strait that leads to the seaport in Isabela City in the province at sunset.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Malacañang's grant on Tuesday of the Galing Pook Award to the provincial government of Basilan can help improve the investment climate in the island province, members of various business blocs said.

Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman received Tuesday the award from the President in Malacañang, in the presence of government officials, among them Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. and Mel Senen Sarmiento of the Galing Pook Foundation.

The Basilan provincial government was awarded with the vaunted Galing Pook Award in recognition of its gains in its domestic peace and development initiatives.

The lawyer Ronald Hallid Dimacisil Torres, chairman of the Bangsamoro Business Council, said Saturday the feat can bolster confidence of investors on the investment climate in Basilan.

“Investors always look up to the functionality of local government units in areas where they intend to put up viable businesses,” Torres told reporters Saturday via online Messenger.

Rima Hassan, an official of the business chamber in Lamitan City in Basilan, said they were elated with their provincial government’s having been awarded with the Galing Pook Award.

"It can further improve the image of Basilan as a new investment hub. Basilan is now bouncing back from armed conflicts and other security woes. The province has improved a lot," Gerry Salapuddin, administrator of the Southern Philippines Development Authority, said.

The SPDA is supporting the peace and development efforts of the Basilan provincial government and the 13-member league of mayors in the island province.  

The president of Basilan's league of mayors, Hanie Bud of Maluso town, said the Galing Pook 2022 that their provincial government had won is a "magnet" for investors from other regions in the country.

"It will help convince investors that there is good governance here and it's safe for them to come in," Bud said.

The grant of the Galing Pook Award to deserving LGUs was pioneered by the national government and the Galing Pook Foundation in 1993.

The Salliman administration got recognized, via the award, for its peace efforts that paved the way for the surrender in batches, since 2016, of 364 members of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan.

The former Abu Sayyaf members from different towns in Basilan have been reintegrated into mainstream communities, where they now thrive peacefully as farmers, fishermen and entrepreneurs.

The municipal governments of Alcala in Cagayan, Goa in Camarines Sur, Libertad in Antique, Ityabat in Batanes, Pulilan in Bulacan, Biñan in Laguna, the city government of Iloilo, the provincial government of Bataan and the barangay government of Cayabu in Tanay, Rizal also received --- for efficiency in governance and for having programs meant to hasten delivery of basic services to constituent communities --- the Galing Pook Award during Tuesday’s awarding rite in Malacañang

Salliman said credit for their provincial government’s having received the Galing Pook Award 2022 should go to the league of mayors in Basilan, the local Muslim and Christian communities, the police and the military.

He said he is also grateful to the different ministries of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the office of Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman for supporting the peace and development projects of the provincial governor's office that drastically weakened the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the province. 

BASILAN

LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT

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