The government is looking to establish a community-based economic zone in Marawi City to help the war-torn city bounce back in terms of economic growth and job opportunities for returning residents, the Finance department said.
In a statement, the department said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd briefly detailed the plan during a recent meeting with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) officials led by group CEO and president, Takeshi Kunibe.
“We appreciate your enthusiasm in taking part in the rehabilitation efforts for Marawi. As part of this rehabilitation program, we are planning to put up a community-based economic zone in the area for small industries, local food processing and small foundries,” Dominguez was quoted as to said during the meeting at the SMBC head office Tokyo, Japan.
Besides providing residents with basic necessities such as water and electricity, he added that the government will be also providing them with access to the Internet so that the community-based industries inside the ecozone could access online selling platforms such as Lazada and Alibaba.
Dominguez said the community ecozone would not be supplying large companies but would instead serve as a tool to open economic opportunities for struggling residents.
Kunibe, in turn, expressed SMBC’s willingness to assist the Philippines in its reconstruction and rehabilitation program for Marawi, the Finance department said.
SMBC, which has non-consolidated total assets of 162.3 trillion yen, is the second largest banking institution in Japan in terms of assets.
Besides the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts for Marawi City, the Finance department said the meeting also touched on issues involving opportunities in the tourism sector and financial markets in the Philippines
SMBC officials also noted that there was healthy appetite for Samurai bonds in the Japanese market.
Dominguez has said that the Philippine government was planning to offer Samurai bonds in the future, with the timing to depend on market conditions.