MANILA -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is providing stores to Maranao entrepreneurs who are among the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Marawi brought by clashes between government troops and Maute group.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said his agency is working on four commissaries for Maranao businesses in nearby cities and provinces of Marawi as livelihood assistance under the Bangon Marawi initiative of the Duterte administration.

These commissaries are on top of the retail spaces that the big malls will offer to Maranao MSMEs.

DTI is partnering with big mall operators to provide spaces in malls for Maranao entrepreneurs.

Lopez also asked mall operators to waive the six months advance payment for Maranao traders and let them pay their rental on a monthly basis.

The DTI also launched the Bangon Marawi Product Store at the DTI Building along Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City last Friday.

The Bangon Marawi Product Store features Maranao products such as brasswares, wooden furniture, wearables, Maranao woven products, jewelry, fashion accessories, and Maranao native delicacies.

The DTI has partnered with Bangsa Moro Federal Business Council, the Tugaya Local Government, the Muntinlupa Local Government, and Magsaysay Shipping and Logistics for the Bangon Marawi Product Store.

“While our government is working tirelessly to give them respite in the wake of the tragedy afflicting their city, DTI has come up with its own way to help our Mindanao countrymen,” Lopez said.

“Given that the Maranaos are inherently traders, we thought it appropriate to find a way to help them showcase their products and bring them to the mainstream market,” he added.

DTI is part of Bangon Marawi, an inter-agency task force for the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of Marawi City and other affected localities, following the damages to public infrastructure and private properties due to clashes in the area. (PNA)