Investors continue to observe PHL’s business climate amid Martial Law

Managing director of PRIME Philippines Jettson Yu (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Businesses are put on hold as some investors choose to move their schedules to later dates following the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.

A consultancy firm which recently put up an office here in Davao City said based on their experience, investors here are affected by the Martial Law declaration in Mindanao last month.

Jettson Yu, managing director of PRIME Philippines said businesses are still in a “wait and see” scenario as the crisis in Marawi drag on to its first month on Friday, June 23.

Yu said most of their scheduled meetings with clients for June and July were moved to August.

“Basing it on our perspective, yung mga meetings yung mga schedule namin namove ng August dinelay muna (Our meetings were postponed. The investors are still observing and waiting),” he said during a press conference at Wednesday’s Habi at Kape at the Abreeza Mall, June 21.

Yu said the attitude of investors from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao differ in their take on Martial Law.

“Locally, it’s positive for Davao’s business people. They can feel it, they are here and they know the place, they see Martial Law is helping the country,” he said.

He said other people, particularly, those from Luzon and Visayas have varying opinions, some agrees with Martial Law while some disagrees.

But Yu said, even if Martial Law gets lifted, clients will continue to observe the situation.

He said investors will not necessarily push through with businesses immediately because there are still attacks happening.

“The tendency is, even when you lift it, it will not affect the investors’ confidence, so it’s better that we stick to preventive solution. which is let us put Martial Law in place, so that we can stop bad things from happening,” Yu said.

Yu said “setting aside Martial Law” if developments in businesses and infrastructure continue until 2019 to 2020, “there will be tremendous growth in Davao City proper area.”

He said the city proper could turn into a “competitive central business district partially similar to Cebu.”

When this push through, he said investors who want to do business in the south or countries in South East Asia might want to consider Davao City as its base.

Yu said the cost of condominium units in Davao City are already comparable to Manila.

He said some condominiums here sell units at P200,000 per square meter similar to what Makati City offers.

Buyers he said are 40-50 percent Davaoenos, while only five to 10 percent came from Manila. The rest of the buyers came from other parts of Mindanao.

Yu said Davao City can easily get affected by threats of peace and security in Mindanao however, the city remains to attract investors who are buying the “promise” of the present administration. (