By Wilnard Bacelonia

ILIGAN CITY, Oct 16 (PIA-ICCC) – The groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the rehabilitation of the most affected area (MAA) Marawi City’s has been rescheduled from Wednesday, October 17, to the last week of this month, according to top officials of the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM).

“TFBM is ready and well prepared for October 17 but we will move it to the next available date of President Duterte for him to personally lead the event wherein per advice of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) will be on the fourth week of October, most likely October 28,” said TFBM Secretariat head Atty. Ace Millar.

TFBM and the Office of the President decided to move the schedule to make sure President Rodrigo Duterte will be present during the groundbreaking ceremony, according to Millar.

“We were informed by the contractor that equipment and manpower are already in place for the ground works,” Millar stated.

TFBM chairperson and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario meanwhile said that even with the postponement of the October 17 groundbreaking the awarded contractor will commence with the mobilization of personnel and equipment within the week and already do initial debris clearing.

Del Rosario furthered the groundbreaking ceremony, however is re-scheduled on the last week of October.

The earlier schedule is supposed to coincide with the Marawi City Liberation first anniversary.

On a press briefing last October 12 held in Malacañang, Rosario made it clear that if the President will not make it on October 17, they are open to postponing the date.

“We would like to highlight the importance of this groundbreaking and the President’s presence is very important,” del Rosario said.

He also disclosed that debris management contract for Marawi’s most affected area (MAA) worth P75 million was awarded to Finmat International Resources Incorporated, a local construction company.

“Road networks construction with underground utilities will immediately follow after the debris clearing. Once it is done, we will proceed with the vertical structures,” del Rosario said.

The official noted that the National Housing Authority (NHA) is taking the lead in the negotiation with potential construction companies, including Finmat, the will take-over after the debris clearing through a separate contract.

Inside MAA, TFBM is planning to construct 320 classrooms, 24 barangay centers, a convention center, a ground central market, a school for living tradition, a 4-storey parking area and other structures.

The budget allotted by the National government for the rehabilitation of MAA alone which is composed of 24 barangays, is around P15 to P16 billion which is expected to be completed on the fourth quarter of 2021. (WLBacelonia/PIA-ICCC)