Bangon Marawi chief: Five 'big developers' interested in rebuilding Marawi

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 5) — Five "big developers" have expressed interest in rebuilding Marawi City, the head of Task Force Bangon Marawi said.

"We have five big developers. They will be submitting their unsolicited proposals by January 15," Bangon Marawi Chairperson and housing czar Eduardo del Rosario said in a Malacañang press briefing on Friday.

He refused to identify the companies, saying it would be premature to do so.

Of the five developers, one will be chosen as the initial proponent who will work with a technical working group to come up with a plan for rebuilding Marawi, including the terms of reference and scope of work, del Rosario said.

These information will then be published in national broadsheets and be subjected to a Swiss challenge wherein other developers may offer bids to execute the proposal at a lower cost.

"The original proponent has to offer a better pricing for the same quality of his original proposal… In this way, we will get the best offer that the government can possibly get," del Rosario said.

Del Rosario said the government is choosing only one developer to rebuild 250 hectares of Marawi's ground zero to ensure that everything is synchronized, from utility and water lines to road networks.

Based on an initial assessment, rebuilding Marawi will require at least P49.81 billion, the Palace announced in the same briefing.

Del Rosario said "there's a possibility" the actual cost would be bigger. He said a master development plan is in the works.

Officials estimated the cost of damaged infrastructure and agriculture at P11.61 billion, opportunity losses at P6.6 billion.

Task Force Bangon Marawi wants actual construction in ground zero to start by April 15.

Del Rosario said the Armed Forces has promised to clear Marawi from explosives by the first week of April.

Most of the unexploded ordnances still in Marawi were from government airstrikes, del Rosario said.

"Upon impact dpaat sasabog, hindi nagputukan yung iba… Ang ginagawa ng Armed Forces pinapasabog onsite. Controlled detonation ang tawag diyan," he said.

Translation: "They were supposed to explode upon impact. The Armed Forces now detonate them onsite."

The ISIS-inspired terrorists also planted improvised explosive devices, booby traps, and bombs during the five-month war in Marawi that ended in October 2017.

Nearly a third of Marawi City's war-torn areas has been cleared of explosives as of December 30, 2017 the Armed Forces said.

AFP: 30 percent of Marawi ground zero cleared of explosives

Over 900 terrorists, 47 civilians, and 165 government troops were killed in Marawi since the fighting began on May 23.

The war turned homes and buildings into rubble and displaced over 300,000 residents.

Martial law remains in effect in Mindanao until December 31, 2018 after Congress granted President Rodrigo Duterte's request for a one-year extension.

Marawi local government officials said it is needed to ensure the unhampered rehabilitation of the war-torn city.

CNN Philippines' Eimor Santos contributed to this report.