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MARAWI CITY GOT ITS CHARTER IN 1940, 77 Years Ago

Almorshid Notes
Prof. Ali B. Panda, Ph.D
Mindanao State University


The word "charter" originally meant simply a written document, and it was often applied to deeds for the transfer of real estate. It is a legally binding document incorporating an organization or institution and specifying its purpose, remit or bylaws. 

Marawi City was a municipality named Dansalan, capital of the defunct undivided Lanao province in the Philippines from 1907 to 1940, first under the government of the Moro Province, the Department of Mindanao and Sulu, the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes, the Commonwealth, and finally the Republic.

According to one of the late well-known Meranao scholar Dr. Mamitua Saber, Marawi City got its charter in 1940. The granting of a charter to the old Dansalan Municipality was jointly conceived by Commonwealth President, Manuel L. Quezon and Assemblyman, later Senator Tomas L. Cabili. The changing of the official name from Dansalan to Marawi was through Congressional amendment of the Charter in 1956 sponsored by Senator Domocao Alonto.” This is embodied in Republic Act No. 1552 dated June 16, 1956.

Under the impact of Islamic awareness and consciousness, the renaming of Marawi City into Islamic City of Marawi was proposed in Parliamentary Bill No. 261 by former Assemblyman Dianalan, brother of former late Mayor Omar Dianalan.

Professor Talib Benito in his thesis work entitled:, “the Renaming of Marawi City into Islamic City of Marawi: An Attitudinal Study Among City Residents in 1983,” revealed that the bill was read before the Batasan floor during its second session on July 24, 1979, and was transmitted to and received by the Committee on Local Government and Community Development on August 2,1979. The bill is expected to be finally deliberated and adopted by the Congress.

Republic Act No. 6734- “An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao” as amended by Republic Act No. 9054 “An Act to strengthen and expand the Organic Act for the ARMM ” and the Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Acts. During the 1990 plebiscite, the people of Marawi City voted against the inclusion of the City in the ARMM. Therefore, Executive Order No. 429 dated October 12, 1990, provides the transfer of the City to Region 1X.

Another plebiscite was scheduled toward the end of 2002. Despite government campaigning for a yes vote in many provinces in Southern Mindanao, only one more province (Basilan) and one city (Marawi) voted to be included in the expanded ARMM.

Marawi City is thickly populated by a Muslim Meranao. The 77 years old City was expected to be one of the progressive cities in the Philippines.
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