Following his proposal to rebuild Marawi City into a tourism destination to help it rise from the destruction brought by the ongoing armed conflict, Senator Richard J. Gordon underscored the need for a re-urbanization plan.
Gordon said the rehabilitation of Marawi City should have the best master plan and should not be undertaken haphazardly to ensure the development of the city's tourism industry, and that of the areas around Lake Lanao and the whole of Mindanao.
"When something is destroyed, there is an opportunity to re-build it into something better. We should take this opportunity to rebuild not only Marawi City and the Lake Lanao area but for the whole of Mindanao. And in order to turn it into a world-class tourism destination, we should have a well-laid and imaginative master plan," he explained.
Gordon said that the government should build better facilities and infrastructure such as wider roads and a transportation system that is conconvenient travel and buildings, among others. A ferry service around Lake Lanao could be operated.
To create a culture of tourism among the people, Gordon said they should be encouraged to open hotels, establish B and Bs (Bed and Breakfast), canteens or sell local delicacies or souvenir items. They can also open Torogan Villages to showcase their ancestral homes, have a Maranaw Village, Tausug Village, Manobo Village, or a Talaandig Village to show the unique cultures of the different peoples living there.
"Ang ganda-ganda ng view sa taas ng Lake Lanao, then near it is Maria Cristina Falls. We can have yacht clubs and boating around the lake. This can become a major tourism destination once it is developed and promoted properly. A strong tourism industry will not only help in Marawi's rehabilitation, it will also bring economic development not only to Marawi but also to the whole of Mindanao," he added.
Source: Senate of the Philippines