By Genalyn Kabiling
By next week, the government is aiming to secure a “win-win” agreement with the potential consortium that will rebuild Marawi City in the hopes of ensuring the quality of projects at the right cost.
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chair Eduardo del Rosario said they were finalizing arduous negotiations with the Bangon Marawi Consortium and planning to present its project proposal for Swiss challenge next Tuesday.
The consortium, composed of Filipino and Chinese property developers, has proposed a P16-billion development plan to rebuild 250 hectares of Marawi’s ground zero following a five-month terror siege.
Under the Swiss challenge, rival companies can match or surpass the project proposal made by the consortium.
“As of today, nasa finishing touches na yung ongoing negotiation with Bangon Marawi Consortium. And if there will be a successful negotiation that would be declared by Monday, then on Tuesday the Swiss challenge will start,” Del Rosario said during a Palace press briefing.
“We have to really negotiate, find out everything, take the views of the developers, take the views of our resource persons, and come up with a win-win solution or agreement, compromise so at the end of the day, the developers are happy, the government panels are happy because the we got the right price with the good quality of work,” he said.
Based on the video presentation of the Task Force, various infrastructure projects, including wider road networks, ports and wharves, and transport terminal hub, are being considered in the Marawi development proposal.
Also proposed are the construction of underground utilities for water, power and telecommunications similar to Bonifacio Global City in Tagug as well as the conversion of Gomisa Avenue into a “monument walk” with retail and food establishments similar to Myeong-dong shopping district in South Korea.
Other projects are Grand Padian market, convention center, peace memorial park, school of living traditions, museum, protective facilities, schools, barangay halls, park building, hospital, Lake Lanao and Agus River promenade, and sewage treatment plant.
Once the Swiss challenge is complete, Del Rosario said they hope to launch the groundbreaking of the Marawi development by the first week of July. The rehabilitation project is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2021.
According to Del Rosario, the task force did not want to rush the negotiations with the potential developer so as not to compromise the quality and cost of the projects.
He said they were performing a “balancing act” to ensure a proper development plan within reasonable cost.
“Madugo ang ginagawa naming negotiation [The negotiations have been arduous]. We do not like to compromise the quality as well as the cost. Kailangan balancing act ‘yan [It needs a balancing act],” he said.
He addd that since developers would always ask for higher project cost, the government engaged some resource persons per project “so that we can ensure we get the right quality and the right price.”
Del Rosario also noted that majority of the Marawi residents expressed support for the government’s development plan for the city. “Of course we could not satisfy all. There’s still some individuals criticizing the plan but getting the support of more than 90 percent is good enough for us,” he said.
The government earlier pegged the total rehabilitation cost of Marawi at P71 billion, including the P16 billion for the most affected areas covering 24 barangays.
Around P55 billon will be used for the rehabilitation of the rest of the city and nearby towns destroyed by the five months of terror siege.