The completed renovation of the Grand Mosque in Marawi City inside ground zero. (PNA file photo)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Marawi City officials are identifying key tourism and investment potentials as post-siege reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts are nearing completion in the area.

Mayor Majul Gandamra said the newly opened market and sports stadium, and convention center inside the ground zero can provide jobs for the residents as well as local entrepreneurship to thrive.

During Tuesday's interview over a government live-streamed program, Gandamra said domestic tourists and investors might find the new development as an opportunity to help the local economy—five years after the siege.

Gandamra said a stable peace and order is crucial in enticing investors to come in, even as he assured the security forces in Marawi and the local government are doing their best to ensure sustained peace and stability.

Meanwhile, the mayor said the city government is planning to provide incentives to those who invest in the city.

Gandamra said government aid such as the livelihood assistance packages of the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Department of Agriculture have helped accelerate the city's recovery.

He also noted the rehabilitation efforts of humanitarian organizations, both local and international.

Prioritization

In a statement Wednesday, Dr. Fedelinda Tawagon, president of the  Dansalan College, said some areas need prioritization such as public services, hospitals, and schools.

"We are constrained by the long-delayed installation of a water system, the absence of an access road to our campus, and the seeming stringent requirements of a building permit," Tawagon said.

Meanwhile, Gandamra said the passage in April of the Republic Act (RA) 11696 or the Marawi Siege Compensation Act of 2022 would also help expedite the recovery of his displaced constituents.

The mayor said he is hoping that the measure would also be prioritized by the incoming administration.

Jalilah Sapiin, a schoolteacher and member of Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch, said the Marawi Compensation Board that will be created under RA 11696 will have a swift and judicious implementation of the law.

"Those who will compose the Marawi Compensation Board (hopefully) will have a deep understanding of Maranao culture and context, and will push for equity and deliver justice to Marawi siege victims," Sapiin said. (PNA)