With direct foreign investments down 16% during the first half of the year, the national government is devising new schemes to attract more business.
This particular idea is absurd.
Upon arrival in Davao City from the APEC Summit Down Under yesterday, the President signed an Executive Order declaring geothermal areas in the country as “special economic zones.” Through this, government expects to attract power-intensive industries like, prominently mentioned was electronics, but I personally suspect, mining.
One of these geothermal areas is Mt. Apo, which is a sacred place; far from any airport and seaport, not to count the peace and order problem.
Who would locate in such a place?
Moreover, this EO runs counter to environmental laws, preservation of lumad culture and in conflict with ancentral domain claims by cultural communities in the area.
Malacanang should rethink this strategy. The day the EO was signed in Davao, the Mayor of Kidapawan was invited to attend a seminar in Yosemite Park in California on natural park conservation and the Regional Development Council of Southern Mindanao affirming its resolution for the preservation of Mt. Apo Protected Areas (Mindanao Daily Mirror).
Here is a clear case of the right hand of government not knowing what the left hand is doing.