Fighting, not martial law, to drag economic activities in Mindanao — DTI chief

MANILA — Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the clashes between troops and terrorist groups and not the declaration of martial law will drag economic activities in Mindanao.

Lopez told reporters Tuesday that business operations and economic activities in Mindanao remain normal, except for Marawi City where clashes between government troops and Maute terror group is taking place for a week now.

He mentioned that plans and ongoing projects of companies in Mindanao, like in Davao, still continue despite the declaration of martial law.

He added that the business community has not raised any concern on the martial law in Mindanao.

”The fighting itself imposed concern but not the martial law,” the official stressed.

“They see that martial law will give more control over the situation. You need a measure to ensure that it’s safer for the citizens, properties, and businesses, and that is what the President has to do,” Lopez said.

He also echoed that the declaration of martial law in the entire islands of Mindanao will control the spread of terrorism in nearby areas of Marawi because of the tighter security all over the region.

“Just in any place, any location, any country, you have to project an image of peace and stability. So, martial law is helping provide that. It’s good for now that it’s contained in one area. That is why the priority is to solve the issue in that area immediately, as soon as possible,” the trade chief said.

Lopez noted that companies have not held back their investments in the country due to the declaration of martial law.

In fact, investment approvals at the Board of Investments in the first five months of the year grew double-digit, according to Lopez.

Meanwhile, Lopez said supply and prices of products in Mindanao are stable, with the automatic price freeze. Kris Crismundo/