Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairman and Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo D. Del Rosario envisions a transformed Marawi from being a laggard to one of the most competitive cities in the country once rehabilitation of the war-torn city has been completed.

“Before the siege, out of 145 cities in the whole country, in terms of competitiveness, Marawi City is 145th. It’s the last city because there is no sound business environment to speak of, and because of that we would like this rehabilitation to trigger economic development and sustainability,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

“I won’t be surprised that after the rehabilitation, after 10 years maybe, Marawi City will bloom economically and be very competitive,” the TFBM chief boldly proclaimed.

The TFBM chief explained that while infrastructure repairs and construction form part of the Marawi Master Development Plan in the most affected area and the Comprehensive Reconstruction Plan for the whole city plan, the city-wide rehabilitation hopes to rebuild more than just buildings destroyed during the five-month siege led by Islamic militants.

The rehabilitation program primarily aims to be the catalyst for sustainable growth and development in the city, be a template for good governance and most important of all, sustain an environment of peace for all its present and future inhabitants.

The 2017 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) developed by the National Competitiveness Council ranked Marawi City to be the least competitive city in the Philippines. It received the least overall score of 7.0489, which is five times lower than the average scores of the 145 highly urbanized and component cities of the country.

The annual index measures four areas to gauge a city’s competitiveness: economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency. Prior to the siege, Marawi ranked the lowest in terms of resiliency and government efficiency. It also ranked low on economic dynamism (95th) and infrastructure (143rd).

The TFBM chief sees the rehabilitation as a clean slate and opportunity for the Islamic city to rise into a prosperous city and promised to complete all infrastructure projects within the current term.

“We have the determination to go on and continue assisting Marawi City so that we can follow the instruction of the President. Because he said he will see to it that Marawi will rise as a prosperous city again. And we can do that by completing the rehabilitation in the term of the present administration,” Secretary Del Rosario said. -30-