MANILA — Task Force Bangon Marawi Chairperson, Secretary Eduardo del Rosario on Friday assured residents of Marawi that the reconstruction of the Most Affected Area (MAA) remains on track in time for the groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 31.

In an interview in Agenda ng Bayan over Radyo Pilipinas, del Rosario said the MAA rehabilitation has already begun, despite the groundbreaking being rescheduled from Oct. 28 to give way to the President’s availability.

“Nagmo-mobilize ngayon ‘yung developer (The developer is mobilizing now),” he said. “They can conduct initial debris clearing para pagkatapos ng groundbreaking, magsisimula na ang reconstruction (They can conduct initial debris clearing so that when the groundbreaking is done, reconstruction can begin).”

Asked about the delays in reconstruction, del Rosario said the Task Force had to change their mode of procurement into a negotiated agreement, upon advise that a joint venture agreement was not applicable to the rehabilitation efforts.

The other option they rejected, he said, was a build-operate-transfer that would further delay the reconstruction.

“’Yung proseso kasi ng build-operate-transfer, pag ‘yun ang in-apply, medyo magkakatagalan, dahil yung proseso bago ma-award ‘yung build-operate-transfer will take time (If we applied build-operate-transfer, it would be slower, because the process of awarding build-operate-transfer will take time),” he said.

File Photo: Sec. Eduardo del Rosario talks to the residents of Transitional Shelter in Brgy. Sagonsongan. (PIA)

Pushing through with a negotiated agreement involving debris clearing and horizontal development, del Rosario said, the Task Force saved P1.1 billion and had more opportunities to scout for a quality developer.

Del Rosario assured that the funds would be safe from corruption, as the Task Force would observe strict implementation of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

A technical working group composed of national government agencies had been formed to provide technical capacity to the developer, while the National Housing Authority will organize the Bids and Awards Committee that will check the legal and financial capability of the contractor.

File Photo: Sec. Eduardo del Rosario listens to the sentiments of the internally displaced families from the most affected area (MAA) who are currently sheltered in Sagonsongan Transitional Site. (PIA)

All things considered, he confirmed that the MAA reconstruction will be completed by December 2021, as indicated in their original timeline.

“We are one with them (Maranaos) na apurahin at pagtulungan na matapos agad ang rehabilitation ng Marawi (We are one with them in expediting and helping each other finish the Marawi rehabilitation immediately),” he added. (PIA)