THE local business sector has urged the government to look into the possibility of lifting martial law in some parts of Mindanao, even as investors are looking into its impact on businesses, particularly tourism. Arturo M. Milan, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce, said in a text message, when sought for comment, that it was “high time that selective lifting of martial law should be considered if the situation warrants.” But he also said “the military’s assessment should be taken into consideration because they know better (about) the peace and order situation in Mindanao.” Emil Hager, the Hager Travel and Tours operator, said for his part, “It has become a challenge to bring foreign tourists here because of martial law and the travel advisories.” He added, “Foreign tourists who are on vacation do not want to see the army.” And David Leechiu, CEO of Leechiu Property Consultants Inc., said in a briefing last week that the BPO sector has lost about 5,000 jobs because of the declaration of martial law last year and its continuing implementation this year. Before martial law, the annual growth in the BPO industry was about 2,000 jobs, he said. — Carmelito Q. Francisco