CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili,Camarines Sur – A visiting Bicol executive says that the economic growth of the region is directly attributed to the successful security operations of the Philippine Army, during his visit here today.
Governor Jose Ma “Joey” Salceda of Albay was the guest of honor of the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army which has jurisdiction of the whole Bicol Region.
Salceda cited that starting in 2009, Bicol is the fastest growing economy in the country with a rate of 8.2% growth as compared to the 1.1% growth of the whole country.
He cited that he expects that this year, Bicol’s economic growth will hit 12.4%. He said that there is nothing much that has changed that can be attributed to this positive growth except to the fact that the Philippine Army’s successful conduct of security operations.
“Let me emphasize that the absence of conflict and the semblance of peace and order is an economic factor with the highest economic returns,” said Salceda.
During his speech, Salceda commended the officers and men of the 9ID saying, “You’re doing so well in your job (in security operations) in Bicol because there is no major increase in resources and industries yet we are becoming the fastest growing economy due to the mere absence of conflict and other obstacles”.
The Philippine Army in the Bicol Region has recently earned accolades due to its successful neutralization of notorious NPA terrorists in a series of encounters in August and September this year.
Last month, the Regional Director of the CHR lauded the soldiers for their excellent human rights records citing their humane treatment of captive rebels during fierce firefights with the bandits.
Major General Ruperto Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division has likewise expressed his profound gratitude to Salceda for his all-out support to the 9th ID especially during its Disaster Risk Reduction activities in Albay Province.