Marawi headed for economic boom before siege – COA

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Marawi City was a bustling capital of Lanao del Sur province and on its way to economic boom when it was seized by terrorists and left in shambles by a war that also destroyed its people’s hopes and dreams.

In a report released last week, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the city was doing well and able to collect more than P6.733 million in taxes, revenues and income from its 2016 operations.

This represents a 220 percent increase when compared with 2015’s collection of only P2.107 million.

State auditors said the city government also consistently deducted or withheld taxes on compensation, payments to suppliers and contractors, and regularly remitted this to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), citing that from July to December 2016, the taxes withheld on compensation and suppliers totaled P3.49 million.

 They added that the administration of Mayor Majul Gandamra was also consistent in deducting, withholding and remitting premiums, contributions and other payables to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth.

The COA report said the Islamic city was formerly known as the municipality of Dansalan, which meant “Place of Destination and Purpose.” 

“The city is as old as Philippine history, where the point of all roads (kilometer zero point marker) in Mindanao is located. It became a chartered City on Aug. 30, 1940 by virtue of Commonwealth Act 592 during the undivided Lanao Province, but inaugurated only on Sept. 30, 1950,” state auditors said.  

Dansalan was renamed Marawi City on June 16, 1956 and was again renamed Islamic City of Marawi on April 15, 1980. It has about 97 percent of Muslim population.   

COA is expected to come out with its 2017 report on the locality next year, to cover the economic effects of the battle between the military and Maute terrorist group from May to October.

The five-month long siege claimed a total of 1,145 lives that included 933 Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists, 165 soldiers and policemen, and 47 innocent civilians.– Evelyn Macairan





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