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Manila plans to turn Marawi into a tourism hub

This is how Marawi looks in the ongoing siege perpetrated by the Maute group. (Lady Hanifa FB photo)

Iligan City, Philippines
June 26, 2017

Manila intends to turn war-torn Marawi City into a tourism hub after the ongoing armed conflict is over.

Undersecretary Frederick Alegre of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Manila told the media that his department is in the process of drafting a tourism plan for the city.

Alegre made the statement on Saturday in Kalibo, Aklan, where he attended a media forum.

He said the DOT is hoping that government forces will be able to rid the city of the Islamic State-linked Maute group in the coming weeks.

Th Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) declared more than ten barangays clear and said its troops are clearing four more villages where Maute group members are still holed up.

The military said more than 300 people, mostly militants, have been killed in the ongoing conflict, which started on May 23 with the attack of the Maute group.

On Sunday, the military implemented an eight-hour ceasefire from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. to allow residents of Marawi City to peacefully celebrate Eid'l Fitr.

After the lapse of the ceasefire, the military continued bombing the city.

Duterte is expected to sign an executive order mandating the rehabilitation of the besieged city. 

The program, to be called Bangon Marawi, has a proposed budget package of P10 billion. (With reports from other agencies)
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