Task Force Bangon Marawi will have its hands full on the very first day of its creation. Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia has conceded that the rehabilitation and recovery of Marawi City are “gargantuan tasks” that the state must see through, after a five-month siege that practically leveled the Muslim capital.
The National Economic and Development Authority, a key member of the task force, has initially recommended a framework that aims to build safer, adaptive and disaster-resilient communities in Marawi. It also suggested that the Maranao culture be made integral in rebuilding Marawi and neighboring local government units, including concerns on overlapping land claims. The plan is apart from improving economic and social conditions and ensuring peace and security in the ravaged city.
Bringing the city back to its feet may involve a complete redevelopment to avoid the common problems in urban centers across the Philippines. A rehabilitated Marawi must be free from traffic snarls, informal settlers, air and water pollution, and uncollected garbage.
The rebuilding must come out with detailed maps containing the proposed land-use and urban plans to make Marawi a truly modern city. The task force must construct a great deal of infrastructure projects that will speed up travel and the flow of goods and agricultural produce from and to the city.
Transportation or road networks will be key to the recovery of Marawi City. Residents in the area transact business with the rest of Mindanao and across the strategic Lake Lanao. They must have infrastructure support, including a modern pier or port, to bring about a faster economic recovery.
Bringing local and foreign investors as well as tourists to Marawi City, meanwhile, will not be an easy task but it can be done through sustained peace-building efforts. Rebuilding the city will not be an overnight job. Every detail and step in the process must be weighed carefully to produce the long-term benefits that the Maranaos deserve.