By Nanette Guadalquiver
BACOLOD CITY — Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the business climate in this city is “on a roll” and crime incidents such as the recent heists at two jewelry stores inside a shopping mall, here, were merely “isolated” incidents.
“Except for this, under city police director, Col. Henry Biñas, the overall crime volume in Bacolod, from 2018 to 2019, has decreased,” the mayor said in an interview on Tuesday, August 13.
Leonardia said things should be viewed based on the overall business scenario in the city.
“It’s not right to say that it has paralyzed the business climate of Bacolod. Not at all, I would say. This can be considered an isolated incident where our business environment is concerned,” he said.
Leonardia said business registration in the city continues to increase from the total of 23,185 registered firms in 2018.
“Surprisingly (business registrations have increased), but we welcome it, as early as June 20 this year, we have already broken the 2018 record. Which means the business climate in Bacolod is really on a roll,” the mayor said.
He shared that he recently met in Manila a businessman based in Davao City, who said that Bacolod is considered one of the fastest-growing and most progressive cities in the Philippines.
“And I still believe that is the correct picture. This (robbery) incident should not be used as a basis to say that the business climate in Bacolod has been substantially affected. I don’t believe so,” the mayor said.
Leonardia said robbery incidents have happened in Bacolod in the past, and although he cannot completely assure the business community that it will not happen again, he assured them that the Bacolod City Police Office is doing its best to prevent such crimes.
“With that experience, I believe the police is more conscious and alert to prevent it from happening again,” he added.
On August 7, armed men believed to be part of “Martilyo Gang” of the Ozamiz Group entered the Gaisano Grand Mall and stole some P4.5 million worth of items from F and C Jewelry and Haoling Jewelry Store.
Investigators of Bacolod police have already identified the suspects and are preparing to file charges against them.
(First published by PNA, Aug. 14, 2019)