WHILE the country is on its way to gradually opening domestic tourism, Senator Win Gatchalian advises everyone to exercise increased caution especially in areas vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
Gatchalian on Sunday visited Jolo, Sulu and met with Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, his son Vice Governor Abdusakur Tan II, Jolo Mayor Kerkhar Tan, Congressman Samier Tan of the first district of Sulu, and the Commander of Joint Task Force Sulu Major General William Gonzales of the Philippine Army.
They discussed the potentials of the island of Jolo and the province of Sulu amid the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery efforts after Jolo was hit by twin bombings about two months ago.
Gatchalian is extending more than P2 million as his way of condoling with the families of the slain and injured civilians and uniformed personnel during that fateful day.
The families of nine uniformed personnel who died are each receiving P50,000 while the families of the six slain civilians will get P 20,000 each.
A total of 24 identified injured uniformed personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army will each receive P 30,000.00 as financial assistance. Gatchalian will personally also hand over P10,000 each for the 54 injured civilians.
The Joint Task Force Sulu of the Philippine Army will also receive P 200,000 plus 10,000 pieces of face masks from Gatchalian.
“The national government should rise to the challenge of helping the province get back on its feet. Acts of terrorism create uncertainties and scare investors from doing business in the area and in the country,” Gatchalian said.
“It is unfortunate that these atrocities are happening while we are slowly but surely opening up our economy amid the CoViD-19 pandemic. Jolo, Sulu and neighboring provinces should further enhance their security preparedness to support the government’s recovery efforts,” he added.
The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs stressed that economic development is the solution to lasting peace in the region. Jolo is known to be possessing magnificent white sand beaches as tourist spots.
Gatchalian noted that Jolo Island is also rich in natural resources and an underwater ecosystem that will lure more Filipinos and foreign visitors alike into visiting the place.
“Tutulungan nating makabangon ang lugar at makahikayat ng mga mamumuhunan para umunlad ito at gumanda ang takbo ng kanilang ekonomiya. Kaakibat nito ang kapayapaan at kaayusan, lalo na sa kritikal na sitwasyong bunga ng pandemya,” he ended.