Rebuilding Marawi to be done by various gov't agencies through local contractors, Del Rosario says
Various government agencies through local contractors will undertake the rehabilitation of Marawi City and not anymore through a joint venture with foreign firms, the Task Force Bangon Marawi said on Tuesday.
The decision to shift to local contractors was reached after about a year of pushing for a joint venture agreement supposedly with a Filipino-Chinese consortium.
"The joint venture was not a way to go," said task force chairman Eduardo del Rosario in a press briefing in Malacanang.
He pointed out that the Public-Private Partnership Center, the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Finance have said that a joint venture scheme may be contrary to rules and procedure.
"It's not a profit-sharing scheme," he said.
Del Rosario, also the chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, said the government is undergoing the debris-clearing operations in the most affected areas (MAA), which was heavily devastated during the five-month battle between the military and the Maute-ISIS terrorist group in 2017.
He said they expect to complete the clearing operations in the MAA not later than August or September this year.
Since there is no joint venture anymore, he said that except for the clearing operations, whose bidder was chosen under the "emergency" or "negotiated" procurement, "all others will be (through) public bidding...it's all local."
Del Rosario explained that each government agency will tap its own contractors to do the project.
Asked when the actual construction could take place in the MAA, he said, "It now depends on the implementing agencies because they are now conducting their procurement process. In procurement, it takes about six months in minimum."
But he said, "we are confident that we can complete the rehabilitation by December of 2021."
Del Rosario also denied a report by The Washington Post that Marawi City was still a "ghost town" after it was cleared of Islamist militants in 2017.
"There's no truth to that. If you go to Marawi, the traffic is heavy," he said, adding that economic activities have been ongoing.
"If the writer of that article was referring to 250 hectares that were devastated, it's only 0.03 (percent) of the total area of 8,000 hectares. It was dramatized negatively," Del Rosario lamented.
Assistant Finance Secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II, in the same briefing, said that the government has estimated that P67.99 billion is needed to rehabilitate the entire Marawi City.
So far the government has raised P41.81 billion, the bulk of which came from the international development partners such as Japan, China, Australia, United States, Germany, Korea, Spain, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, United Nations and International Fund for Agricultural Development. Celerina Monte/DMS