End of conflict, assurance of gov’t support in Marawi rehab help rebuild investors’ confidence in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 Oct) – PRIME Philippines, a commercial real estate consultancy firm, said that the end of the Marawi siege and the assurance from the government for rehabilitation will help rebuild investors’ confidence in Mindanao.

Construction of temporary shelters begins in Marawi. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Raphil Saguan, an associate of PRIME Philippines handling capital markets and investments, told reporters Wednesday that they believe the assurance of the government to rebuild the besieged city will give investors the impression that the government is capable of handling an aftermath of crisis.

Although it had dampened the trust of some potential investors, he claimed some cities like Davao were only affected at the onset of the war and recovered immediately after.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, immediately after the military engaged the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group. Meanwhile, the President declared the “liberation” of Marawi from the hands of the terrorists on October 17, nearly five months since the siege started.

Saguan said the number of inquiries from investors went up for the city, where President Duterte served as mayor for 22 years.

According to Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC), the city registered around 4,600 business registrations in the second quarter of 2017, a two-fold increase from a period a year ago with 2,110 businesses registered and renewed.

Janine Pajaro Salanga, assistant manager of PRIME Philippines, said they observe that the interest in investing in the city from Luzon and Visayas investors is starting to pick up.

During the Mindanao Hour at Malacañan Palace Monday, Office of the Civil Defense Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James Purisima said at least P5 billion will be allocated for the relief efforts this year and another P10 billion for next year for the internally displaced persons.

He said the Task Force Bangon Marawi has yet to give estimates how much will be needed for the rebuilding phase for next year.

Purisima added site development for transitional shelter in Barangay Sagonsongan in Marawi continues under the Department of Public Works and Highways while a private company has volunteered to develop and deliver a water distribution system.

But no specific timeframe has been set for the return of more than 72,000 displaced families, or about 359,000 individuals, he said.

“There’s no specific time frame yet because the IDP return plan is still being refined and still being discussed,” Purisima said. He added that they are still harmonizing efforts between the local government unit and the national government agencies through a task force.

He said the government eyes to build about 1,100 transitional shelters within the year. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)