By Camille A. Aguinaldo, Reporter
THE groundbreaking of the rehabilitation of Marawi City’s most affected area is scheduled on Oct. 17, a year after the Islamic City’s liberation from Islamic State terrorists, Task Force Bangon Marawi chair Eduardo D. Del Rosario said on Friday.
“Well, actually, we are already prepared for the groundbreaking. Our people are now on the ground preparing for this. And since October 17 is very significant, as the declared date of liberation of Marawi, as declared by our President. So, we find it fitting that the groundbreaking will be on October 17 also,” Mr. Del Rosario said in a press briefing at the Palace.
Asked if the President will attend the groundbreaking rites, Mr. Del Rosario said they are still awaiting the response of the Office of the President.
“If the President could not make it on October 17, we are open to have it one week later. But we are now doubling our efforts in the preparation of the groundbreaking activity. Because we would like to highlight the importance of this groundbreaking, and the President’s presence is very important,” he said.
Mr. Del Rosario said the debris cleaning in the most affected area will be the first task in rebuilding Marawi City, followed by road network construction with underground utilities, then the construction of facilities, such as the classrooms, barangay centers, and markets.
He said a local construction company will be in charge of clearing out the debris in the pilot area, which is around six hectares. The debris cleaning project is worth P75 million.
On concerns over the unexploded bombs, Mr. Del Rosario said the military was able to retrieve already 80% of the ordnances. But he assured that the pilot area will also be screened once again of ordnances before the debris clearing.
“So what we will do now, the strategy that we will apply for this pilot project, there will be six hectares before the contractor will clear the debris, it will be subjected to another clearing of unexploded ordnances. So it will undertake the same process. But we were told that the contractor has the capability to look for unexploded ordnances,” Mr. Del Rosario said.
He also pointed out that other projects in the rehabilitation area have yet to undergo negotiations.
He noted too that the working budget of the whole rehabilitation in the most affected area in Marawi City is around P15 to 16 billion. The task force’s target for rehabilitation completion is the first quarter of 2021.