CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A business conference and trade fair will highlight this year's Marawi Week of Peace on May 17-23, as part of the city’s recovery initiatives five years after the siege.

In a statement Monday, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) said it will lead the weeklong event along with its member line agencies, local government units, and development partners.

TFBM Field Office Manager, Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr. said other than the importance of peace in achieving prosperity and progress, the event will exhibit local products and cuisine.

"We do this every year to remind us how war can cause destruction and damage to people and properties and to make us take to heart the importance of peace," Castro said.

The Marawi Week of Peace was launched in 2018 with the theme “Peace Starts With Us: Give, Work, and Share,” to boost social cohesion among stakeholders via collaborative activities.

This year, the weeklong commemoration will kick off with a business conference and trade fair to support local micro, small, and medium enterprises to be led by internally displaced persons.

There will also be a one-stop-shop business registration and other free services for personal care.

Medical services will also be provided on May 17-20 while free architectural designs will be offered for homeowners from the most affected area (MMA) of Marawi on May 17-19.

Other completed infrastructure projects will also be inaugurated such as the Sarimanok Sports Stadium, Marawi Convention Center, School of Living Tradition, Marawi Museum, Rizal Park, Ramadan mosque, barangay complexes, and road infrastructure inside the MAA.

A series of peace dialogues with women, youth, hostage survivors, and former extremists and rebels will also be held, as well as training on entrepreneurship, product development, and skills training.

Permanent shelters in Barangays Gadongan and Patani are also set to be turned over to identified beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, following his proclamation to serve as the local chief executive of Marawi City for the third term, Mayor Majul Gandamra said he will prioritize the return of his IDP constituents to the “ground zero.”

"Although some sectors have already returned. But my wish is that within my term or in less than one year, all our people will be able to return to ground zero," Gandamra said.

The mayor remains optimistic that the government's recovery efforts for the war-torn city would soon be completed. (PNA)