Friendship bus route to spur economic activities in Marawi

Published November 5, 2021, 1:18 PM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – The “friendship bus route” between Davao City and Marawi City is expected to spur economic development in the country’s lone Islamic city after it was destroyed by a war between government forces and Islamic State-inspired groups in 2017, according to an official of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Davao.

LTFRB-Davao director Nonito “Dondon” Llanos III told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Thursday that the launch of this new bus route, which has been set for the third week of this month, would allow the travel from Davao to Marawi and vice versa much easier.

He added that the bus operator that will serve this route will be known by next week.

According to Llanos, Marawi City mayor Majul Gandamra lauded the opening of this new route and was optimistic this would help his city recover economically four years after the siege happened as it would encourage freer movement of people between Marawi and Davao, touted as the center of commerce in Mindanao.

Llanos added that there are several Meranaw people from Marawi residing in Davao.

“He (Mayor Gandamra) said this is really a welcome development for his city because there are a lot of people from Marawi living in Davao for business and, at the same time, own businesses in Marawi… we have several Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters who are traveling through this route,” he said.

Llanos said peace and order situation had been discussed during a recent coordination meeting attended by LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra, Minister Dickson Hermoso of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and other officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

He said the route would help promote tourism in Marawi.

He added that BARMM has vowed to protect the route to ensure “security and safety of the riding public, including the operator.”