MARAWI CITY, the capital of Lanao del Sur province, has become the veritable ground zero of intermittent clashes between soldiers and extremist forces since last Tuesday.
The incidents have lent President Rodrigo R. Duterte a supposedly “compelling reason” to declare martial law across the whole of Mindanao.
Here are a few useful stats about Marawi City and Lanao del Sur of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), from the Census of Population & Housing, 2015:
Land Area: 87.55 sq km
Population Density: 2,305
Lanao Del Sur, on the other hand, has the largest population and population density in the whole of ARMM.
Marawi City beats the following areas in the other ARMM provinces in terms of population size:
• Jolo, capital city of Sulu, 125,564 population;
• Bongao, capital town of Tawi-Tawi, 100,527;
• Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao, 99,210; and
• Sultan Kudarat province, 95,201.
In terms of population density, Marawi City also outranks the following cities and towns of ARMM:
• Jolo, 993 population density;
• Indanan town in Sulu, 794;
• Sibutu town in Tawi-Tawi, 537; and
• Maimbung town in Sulu, 489.
Yet still, Marawi City has the second smallest land area in Lanao Del Sur province, next to Sultan Dumalondong town.
The city’s land area is just half of one percent, or exactly 0.5815 percent, of the total land area of Lanao Del Sur (15,055.51 sq kms).
Marawi City is home to 19.30 percent or about one in every five of the total residents of Lanao Del Sur (1,045,429)
In the list of the top 5 percent Most Densely Populated areas (sample base: 1,615 cities and municipalities in the country), Marawi City is ranked No. 68.
Note, though, that as of March 2017, there are already 145 cities and 1,489 municipalities or a total of 1,634 in all in the Philippines.
There are a few schools but also a lot of students in Marawi City.
Of the 1,007 schools in Lanao del Sur, 15.09 percent or only 152 are located in Marawi City.
However, about 15.38 percent or the 60,195 students of Lanao del Sur — elementary and secondary levels –- are from Marawi City.
In the whole of ARMM, data from the Department of Education show that Marawi City hosts only 5.7 percent of the region’s total schools but also 7.56 percent or 60,195 of the region’s total students (796,230) in the elementary and secondary levels. — PCIJ, May 2017