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DOT planning to turn Marawi City into a tourism hub

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is planning to turn Marawi City into a tourism hub after the ongoing armed conflict.

DOT Undersecretary Frederick Alegre said the department is in the process of drafting a tourism plan for the city.

Alegre made the statement on Saturday in Kalibo, Aklan, where he attended the Congressman Allen Salas Quimpo Memorial Media Forum.

He said the DOT is hoping that government forces will be able to rid the city of the Islamic State-linked Maute group in the coming weeks.

The military said its troops are clearing four more villages where Maute group members are still holed up.

More than 300 people, mostly militants, have been killed in the ongoing conflict, which started on May 23 with the attack of the Maute group.

The attack prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to place Mindanao under martial law.

On Sunday, the military implemented an eight-hour ceasefire from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. to allow residents of Marawi City to peacefully celebrate Eid'l Fitr.

Even as the conflict has stretched to four weeks, Malacañang said the government has already foiled the Maute group's plan to establish an Islamic State territory in Marawi City.

Duterte is expected to sign an executive order mandating the rehabilitation of the besieged city. The program, to be called Bangon Marawi, has a proposed budget package of P10 billion. —report from Jun Aguirre/ALG, GMA News