Philippine government is planning to transform the war-torn Marawi City into a tourism hub through the Department of Tourism after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) filter out the militants from the region.
Tourism Undersecretary, Frederick Alegra, said that the tourism department has already formed a team to draft the plan of transforming Marawi City in a new tourism hub
Addressing journalists in Aklan Provinces, Central Philippines, Alegra said that the tourism department is looking forward to the AFP to finish the armed conflict in the coming weeks so that they can start the ground work.
According to military reports, though the government now controls 90% of the villages in the battle ground, there are still four villages occupied by the Maute Terrorist Group. Department of National Defense (DND). Also estimated that there is only a hundred of Maute terrorist members were left in the conflict area. The battle has already killed 280 terrorists, 69 soldiers and 26 civilians.
A native of Southern Philippines, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing for Southern Philippines to be a tourism hub to generate income opportunities for the rural poor. Since 2015, Philippines has generated at least USD 2 billion a year that plays a vital role in uplifting the country's economy.
In September 2013, separatist rebels also raided Zamboanga City, a city in the Southern Philippines, and displaced more than 100,000 civilians. Not only this, the infamous Zamboanga siege burnt more than 10,000 houses to ashes. 4000 soldiers were deployed in Zamboanga to battle around 400 fighters of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
In the post-armed conflict recovery program in Zamboanga, the battle zone of this City has become a destination for tourists coming all the way from US, Canada, Germany and other Western countries.