Philippines Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the conflict in Marawi City will further boost investor confidence in the economy, as the government can focus on a comprehensive plan to reconstruct the southern city and provide economic opportunities for its returning residents.
Dominguez said the record performance of Manila's stock market following President Duterte’s announcement last Tuesday of the “liberation” of Marawi City from Islamist militants shows positive investor sentiment on the end of the conflict. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) gained 49.80 points or 0.59 percent to end 8,497.74 on Tuesday. That day’s stock rally saw an 8,586.73 intraday peak.
Dominguez noted that even with the crisis in Marawi City and the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, the business community has remained bullish on the economy and supported the President’s decisive action to deal with the terrorist attack.
“We expect investor confidence to strengthen further and the economy to grow even faster now that the conflict has been virtually resolved and the government has started raising spending on infrastructure and human capital development, which will supercharge growth and create more jobs for our people,” Dominguez said.
President Duterte created last July an interagency task force chaired by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that will spearhead the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation program for Marawi City.
Although the Department of Finance (DOF) is not a member of the Task Force, it is involved in the fund-raising aspect for the program, with Dominguez revealing plans last August for the Bureau of Treasury to sell “patriotic” bonds to aid in Marawi’s rehabilitation.
Earlier, Dominguez reported that World Bank chief executive officer Kristalina Georgieva has confirmed the institution’s commitment to work with the Philippine government in helping conflict-torn Marawi City rise from devastation, along with scaling up support for peace-building efforts in Mindanao.
According to the military, while there still are remaining rebels acting as "stragglers," they no longer pose a threat. The government will still conduct clearing operations and assess the extent of the damage in Marawi to prepare a detailed recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation program for the city. Efforts are now underway to provide immediate assistance to displaced residents and open up economic opportunities that would enable them to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives.
The President announced Marawi’s liberation after the deaths of terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute during a predawn offensive on Monday. The two Islamist militants led the attack on Marawi last May 23, forcing almost its entire population out of the city, taking hundreds hoistage.