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“Nobody was talking about Mindanao. The serious problem actually is Mindanao because if we do not handle it very carefully, this country will end up dismembered.”
This is what President Duterte said during the Christmas Townhall last Monday in Malacañang when he shared why he wants to help the Mindanao province, most especially the war torn areas. He had prepared a two-page speech, but he opted to say his heartfelt sentiments.
More than 400 entrepreneurs, advocates and government officials joined us as we celebrated inclusive growth. We are fortunate to have the full support of everyone as we launch the Negosyo para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu. Our objective for the project is to bring peace and socio-economic development to the region through the help of the big brother companies who can provide livelihood programs, housing projects, mentorships, facilities and infrastructure.
Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, US Ambassador Sung Kim, Senators Cynthia Villar, Miguel Zubiri, Sonny Angara, Win Gatchalian, Rep. John Bertiz, Lucio Tan, Teresita Sy-Coson, Butch Campos, Leonardo Dayao, Joseph Chua, Jeffrey Ng, Kenneth Yang, Ernest Tan Mantiong and Alfonso Uy all joined the third townhall session with the President.
Our partner Manny Pangilinan and his companies pledged for different infrastructures including the CSR hospital project of Metro Pacific Zamboanga Hospital Corp. and PLDT Enterprise. They will also rehabilitate their Smart network facilities. A coconut processing plant will also be restored. The MVP Group also donated 40 homes to the Gawad Kalinga Kapatid Villages. Through its water services provider, Maynilad, the GK villages will be provided with water systems in their areas.
Sec. Manny Piñol confirmed that Ramon Ang’s San Miguel Corp. will build a 50-MW power plant. They will also rehabilitate the Hadji Butu School of Arts and Trade which is one of the oldest schools in Sulu. A feed mill supply facility will also be built in the area.
In order to easily transport progress and bring economic activities in Sulu, the LT Group led by Lucio Tan, and son Michael Tan, is looking into resuming the commercial flights of Philippine Airlines to Jolo via Zamboanga. Michael Tan, as mentioned by Ginggay Hontiveros, is one of the first entrepreneurs who has committed his support to this project. Michael also gave support for GK houses.
Aside from that, the LT Group through the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by Angel Ngu, also gave support to building classrooms for the children of Sulu. In total, the FFCCCII is funding 16 classroom buildings which will have a total of 30 classrooms.
Rep. Arthur Yap, who is very active in our agriculture group and projects, is also supporting the construction of a classroom building. There are many entrepreneurs who donated houses for the GK Villages. Among those who committed were Sec. Ramon Lopez, Manny Osmeña, William Belo and many more. 200 houses were already pledged for GK Kapatid Villages.
Tennyson Chen and the Bounty Fresh Group will have a poultry contract growing program for the farmers. There will also be Chooks-to-go outlets to open in Sulu.
The Kapatid Agri Mentors Group is eager to help the farmers and mentor them for fruits and vegetables growing. The mentoring program is in partnership with academic institutions such as Nortre Dame of Jolo and Mindanao State University of Sulu.
Hygiene kits are also being provided by Cecilio Pedro and Lamoiyan Corp. National Bookstore, led by Nanay Coring and Xandra Ramos-Padilla, will give away school supplies and slippers for at least 100,000 children. Robina Gokongwei-Pe of JG Summit will support the local coffee farmers of Sulu and has committed the involvement of the JG Summit company in the Mentor Me Program of Go Negosyo and DTI.
Datu Shah Abdusakur Tan and Sulu Gov. Toto Tan are delighted to hear all the commitments of the big brothers. These are just some of the support that will be given to Sulu. I am sure that there will be more pledges in the coming days. After all, it is the season for giving. We are looking forward to the success of this project and hopefully Sulu will be experience peace because of progress and prosperity.
Presidential adviser Joey Concepcion and family with Secretaries Jess Dureza, Manny Piñol, Ramon Lopez, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and President Duterte.”