Marawi City is not only rising from the physical ruins of the 2017 five-month siege laid by the Daesh-inspired Maute terrorist group as the local government unit has registered economic growth with an increase in revenue collections by almost 500 percent, compared to its collections prior to the siege.
Mayor Majul Gandamra said that normalcy is back in the only Islamic City in the country as revenue collections have been on an uptrend, contrary to what is being peddled by critics of the Duterte administration.
“Normalcy has returned. It’s business as usual. In fact, we are signing applications for business permits every day — a clear manifestation that Marawi City is rising back economically,” the mayor said.
Gandamra added that from P6,596,901 total tax collections in 2016 before the siege, the local government of Marawi City recorded P12,474,494.72 revenue collections for 2019. In 2015, the city government only collected a total of P2,082,709.39.
The mayor also recognized the rehabilitation efforts of the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), headed by Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo del Rosario.
Gandamra said that as TFBM cleared 72 out of the 96 barangays in the city, residents have returned as well as businesses. The remaining 24 barangays are situated at the so-called “ground zero” or the main battle area.
Gandamra lamented that focus was only given to the still uninhabited area when there are so much improvements outside.
He noted that the TFBM, including the local government units, is currently focusing on rehabilitating ground zero to facilitate the return of residents with the construction of horizontal and public vertical infrastructures that are expected to commence within the first semester of 2020 and completed by December 2021.
The Marawi City siege resulted in the killing of more than 1,000 terrorists, government troops and civilians and left most parts of the city in ruins. The conflict ended in October 2017.