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Marawi traders to push for zero-interest fresh capital

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MARAWI CITY - Local traders in this besieged city is asking the national government to include a financial package with zero interest to help them recover the daily economic losses incurred following the ongoing crisis.

Samer Bauc,  who has a stall at Padian,  this city's main public market,  said they will lobby to the national government to help them avail a special financial package that will help them restart their lost businesses.

"We hope that part of the government's rehabilitation efforts is to provide us a zero-interest financial package payable in certain period of time, " he said.

According to him,  ranging from Php 50,000 to Php 100,000 payable for two years with zero interest could be enough for them to operate their businesses.

Bauc is among the handful of traders maintaining makeshift stores inside the evacuation camps in this city.

He said their income has been significantly reduced.

In his case,  he is earning about Php 20, 000 per day,  but this is now down to Php 3,000 to Php 5,000 a day.

He still considered himself as lucky,  saying others were not able to get a few of their stocks and were ransacked by invading Maute and Abu Sayyaf members.

Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong,  spokesperson of the crisis management committee,  said they have yet to determine the exact economic losses following the ongoing crisis.

"The current gun battle is located in the central business district," he said,  adding they have yet to talk to the local chamber of commerce to get the "accurate assessment"  of  the economic losses.

Arial footages showed that the center of trade and commerce of this city  have been reduced to rubble.

Adiong said they backed the idea of the local traders for special financial package for the businessmen.

He said the financial package should be part of the early recovery efforts of the national government.

Adiong said that the economic package will help residents to be independent and shore up the needed local economy to fast track the rehabilitation of the city.

"Maranaos are traditionally known as traders," he said.

Marawi is the center of trade and commerce of Lanao del Sur.  Neighboring towns sourced their goods in Marawi. (Darwin Wally Wee)




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