Zambo Sur best for agriculture PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 08:41

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Zamboanga City must remain a trading hub because of its potentials as the nearest city to our southern foreign neighbors and her accessibility to the Asia Pacific region and a little bit far from the West Philippine Sea that is now a brewing territorial dispute brought about by China’s bullying ways. The Philippines must find a new and safe trading sea route to the east and Zamboanga City is the best starting point. One of those products in demand abroad are agricultural produce and  the city cannot solely fill up that demand unless neighboring Zamboanga Del Sur can fill the gap. Right now, Zamboanga Del Sur is already supplying livestocks to the city while the city is importing agricultural products like vegetables from Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and General Santos City, sometimes even from Baguio City. Spices like onions and garlic come from far northern provinces of Cagayan Valley, Nueva Ecija and Tuguegarao.  These are all found in Zamboanga Del Sur, but at a small scale, only enough to supply the province and her outlying municipalities. Rice from the municipalities of Molave, Aurora , Labangan and Pagadian City, all in Zamboanga Del Sur, sometimes find their way to Zamboanga City to augment imported and smuggled rice supply for the city’s population.

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Published recently in this newspaper is that big corporations of the country will invest in agriculture in Central Mindanao area of the Bangsamoro if the Basic Law (BBL) will be approved and implemented. This is good news but why not in nearby Zamboanga Del Sur when the province also have vast fertile lands and virgin forests suitable for large scale and mechanized farming? On top of this factor is that  the province has a stable peace and order situation, coupled with good provincial governance by a visionary governor Antonio H. Cerilles who governs the province on teamwork with equally two dedicated congress representatives, Honorable Aurora Enerio Cerilles and Honorable Victor Yu. These two Congress representatives displayed their firmness in Congress when they supported the city’s Congress Representatives Celso Lobregat and Madame Lilia Nuno in their united position toward the exclusion of our area from the Bangsamoro territory. Is this also perhaps the reason why big investors of the country who are afraid of the Presidency are towing the line of the ruling administration, like, Russia, where a businessman who will go against President Putin will be driven to bancruptcy? But Russia is socialist Communism, while the Phillippines is a democracy country (that’s what they say), is it up to this time?

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We hope that the National Government and President Pnoy Aquino will review their priorities, improve and expand to what we have right now in Zamboanga Del Sur before the government will subsidize P79 billion to the Bangsa Moro territory whose economic and political future is not and will not be a 100% success or that the promise of a lasting peace for Mindanao is still a dream. Right now Zamboanga Del Sur is prepared to host big-time agricultural investors, it has ready farms and areas waiting to be cultivated by investors. It has ready infrastructures, communicationfacilities and accessible by land, sea and air. Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay and the entire Peninsula must work as a team because they have all the natural resources that can compete with the Bangsamoro proposed areas and the much expected and suspected presence of a natural gas and fuel deep in the Sulu Sea and Liguasan Marsh that they say will make the Bangsamoro area wealthy and will be controlled by Malaysia and the United states with only a trickle of the income to be shared for the Bangsamoro and the country. Look at Malampaya natural gas and oil in Palawan, it is controlled by foreigners not our government.

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Zamboanga City, Basilan and Zamboanga Sibugay are all children of Zamboanga Del Sur. Many years back we are all under Zamboanga Del Sur, under one province for many years, peaceful and progressive, until the “clash of ideologies” arrived in our shores in the late sixties. Right now we are again further being divided by our government.Our only hope for identical progress is support each other, especially those original peaceful and progressive areas, like the original Zamboanga Del Sur, because we are not and were never dominated by radical ideologues and tribes since time immemorial and we should remain free.

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Scoop: Instead of going further from our shores, come to Zamboanga Del Sur and see the area for investments. It has everything and very peaceful. Even Muslim communities in the area are peaceful and law abiding. Inter-marriage among Christians, Muslims and IP Subanens are common in Zamboanga Del Sur.This is one important factor for peace