COTABATO CITY (PNA)–Business leaders here welcomed Wednes-day the reactivation of a military-led task force against crimes, saying it will increase the confi-dence of investors.
Oscar Tan Abing, Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce president, said the reactivation of Task Force Kutawato (in-digenous name of Cota-bato) was a “very welcome development.”
Abing noted that to sustain the investment momentum that happened in Cotabato City the past five years, security must be assured.
“Now, we have a feeling of security,” said Abing, who owns some grocery stores around town.
Officials launched on Tuesday the inter-agency Task Force Kutawato (TFK) to help ensure the peace and order condition in a bid to sustain or make the local economy even more vibrant.
“This task force is patterned after the good practices of task forces in Davao, Gen. Santos City and Zamboanga City,” Maj. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, 6th Infantry Division com-mander, said.
Dela Vega named Army Colonel Jose Gongo-na as TFK head.
Bai Sandra Siang, president of the Kutawato Muslim Business Chamber, said the creation of the special security unit will sustain the upswing trend of the city’s economy and employment opportunities.
She cited the entry of malls and supermarkets as indicators of improving local economy. She also noted the rising number of cash remittances establishments, an indication of the growing circulation of cash in the city and its environs.
Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi said the task force will focus on the security of all Cotaba-tenios and the elimination of illegal drugs in the city.
Aside from Army Special Forces Battalion as core composition of TFK, the city police and Civilian Armed Forces Geogra-phical Unit, the task force is supported by all local officials and police units in Region 12 and the Autono-mous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Sayadi said the city government has provided six motorbikes to be used by TFK personnel in conducting security patrol around the city’s 37 villages.
Military armored per-sonnel carriers, hovercraft and speed boats are some of the resources of TFK.