Ambassador Thomas eyes lifting travel ban on Mindanao

PAGADIAN CITY (Mindanews/08 September) – United States Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. announced he was planning to recommend to the Department of State to lift the travel ban on Mindanao.

Thomas made the announcement Thursday in his speech at the opening of the 20th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) at the City Commercial Center in this city.

The State Department issued a travel advisory on June 14 this year warning US nationals against travelling to Mindanao.

Thomas said he noted that the peace and order situation in Mindanao has significantly improved in the past months.

He also said Mindanao enjoys a good business climate which serves as one of the barometers of his government in continuing to implement its programs in this part of the country.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) vice president for Mindanao Edwin Capili said Thomas’ pronouncement was a welcome move for the business community here in Mindanao.

Around 200 businessmen from all over Mindanao are gathered here for this year’s MinBizCon which carries the theme “One. Global. Mindanao. Making Private Public Partnership Work”.

The PCCI started the holding of area business conferences in 1992 to give more focus to regional economic and development objectives.

Over time, the area business conferences in North Luzon, South Luzon, National Capital Region, Visayas and Mindanao have become significant events leading to the Philippine Business Conference.

The MinBizCon is also the preferred platform to present the Mindanao Business Policy Agenda, a document covering policy issues on economic development requiring government action and private sector commitments.

Meanwhile, Thomas and his party flew to Zamboanga City and inaugurated a crime laboratory facility built inside Camp Gen. Eduardo Batalla.

The crime laboratory, which the US helped finance, is aimed to augment the capability of the police in solving crimes. (MindaNews)