Groundbreaking for rehab of Marawi 'ground zero' moved to July
The Philippine government has moved to July the target groundbreaking for the rehabilitation of most affected areas in war-torn Marawi City.
In a press briefing on Friday in Malacanang, Task Force Bangon Marawi chairperson Eduardo del Rosario said "finishing touches" are being undertaken in the ongoing talks with the Filipino-Chinese consortium that made an unsolicited proposal to rebuild Marawi.
"And if there will be a successful negotiation that would be declared by Monday, then on Tuesday the Swiss challenge will start," he said.
Under the Swiss challenge, interested competitor needs to make a better offer from the original proponent, which could also match the offer of the challenger to finally bag the project.
"First week of July will be the groundbreaking," Del Rosario said.
Bangon Marawi earlier targeted to hold the groundbreaking by May.
Del Rosario said there have been changes on the schedule because they did not want to rush things in order not to compromise the quality as well as cost of the project.
"If this is the quality that we want, what is the appropriate project cost that will be applied to that particular infra. This is negotiation. Always the developers would ask for a high amount of project cost, but we requested some resource persons. We engage them per project, per building so that we can ensure that we get the right quality and the right price," he said.
The project is expected to be completed in three years or not later than the last quarter of 2021 once it starts, he said.
So far, del Rosario said the estimated cost to rehabilitate Marawi is P16 billion.
Col. Antonio Francisco, deputy commander of Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in the same press briefing said the AFP will purchase land amounting to P51.3 million for its camp outside the periphery of Marawi.
The amount is part of the P83 million the AFP has proposed and subject to the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte, he said.
"The fund requirement and the amount of P206.9 million to support ground clearing operation of the most affected areas, was disapproved for reason that clearing can be done by private contractors," he added.
Marawi was devastated by a five-month battle between government troops and the Maute-ISIS terrorists last year. Celerina Monte/DMS