By Genalyn Kabiling
The government is expected to choose the final property developer that will rebuild war-ravaged Marawi City by May and kick-off the development the following month.
According to Task Force Bangon Marawi spokesman Kristoffer Purisima, the government has started to conduct negotiations with the Bangon Marawi Consortium on its proposed development of the most affected areas of the city.
If the consortium is given the original proponent status, Purisima said the project would be placed under Swiss challenge or a process that allow rivals to submit competing offers.
“We expect to complete the negotiations by the end of this month or early May because then we will begin the process for the Swiss Challenge. We will publish the terms once the negotiations are completed. We will publish the terms of the (Swiss) challenge, and then other intended proponents may then challenge those terms,” Purisima, assistant secretary of the Office of Civil Defense, said during a Palace news conference.
“Our goal is to have the groundbreaking by early June so we will complete the selection process for the developer by the end of May,” he added.
The task force earlier selected the Bangon Marawi Consortium, composed of Chinese and Filipino companies, as potential developer of Marawi City with an estimated project cost of P17.2 billion.
The development proposal included the construction of green parks, cultural center, transport and tourism hubs, in most affected areas composed of 24 barangays in Marawi City.
Purisima said the Bangon Marawi selection committee is currently reviewing and assessing in detail the proposed development plan submitted by the consortium.
He said the review aims to ensure the proposed infrastructure would be compliant with existing standards and set at prices in keeping with industry standards.
He said the task force also intends to hold consultations with stakeholders in Marawi about the development proposal.
There was also no final decision yet on the proposal to build a new structure to replace the iconic Grand Mosque in Marawi. He said this would still depend on the inputs of the community.
“The task force ensures that the final development plan is responsive and in line with the desire, dreams, and aspirations of the people of Marawi City,” he said.
On the proposed military camp inside Marawi City, Purisima said the residents are in favor of such facility to boost the security of the city following a deadly five-month terror siege.