Residents of remote Tawi-Tawi town allowed to buy basic goods in Sandakan, Malaysia

Published January 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Nonoy Lacson

ZAMBOANGA CITY (January 10, 2020) – The municipal government of Taganak in Tawi-Tawi has entered into a “verbal agreement” with the Malaysian authorities to allow local residents of Taganak to buy their major household commodities in Sandakan, the capital state of Malaysia.

Taganak Mayor Hadji Moh Faizal Jamalul said trading between Sandakan and Taganak merchants has started using the “Malaysian ringgit and Philippine peso” as currency.

“ I talked with the Malaysian authorities recently asking them to allow 10 hours to our people in Taganak to buy their household commodity needs in their country due to its nearness to their town,” he told newsmen here upon his arrival from Taganak yesterday.

He said his hometown was far from this city, which was the main reason why most of his constituents preferred to purchase their household commodities in Sandakan.

He said travelling to Sandakan in Malaysia only takes them less than an hour, while travelling from Taganak to Zamboanga City, the trading center in southern Philippines, takes them almost 30 hours by passenger vessel.

He also lamented that their town had no wireless communications facilities. What local residents are using is the wireless communication system of Malaysia, he added.

:It’s hard sometimes to develop the town, considering we lack the necessary communication facilities, airport and seaport to accommodate our visitors both local and foreign,” he continued.

Jamalul underscored that Taganak is one of the beautiful places to visit in the country where “you can see, at the shoreline, the many species of sea turtle, just walking or swimming beside you.”

The island barangay of Baguan, is an island protected for turtle nesting and the smallest island, Jamalul said.

“We also have an active underwater volcano where one can witnes the boiling sea water atop the crater of the volcano,” he added.