MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Dec. 20 (PIA-TFBM-ICCC) – An official of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) said the government will no longer employ joint-venture agreement as the appropriate modality for the development of the most affected areas.

“We have completely abandoned joint-venture agreement. Instead, we will be procuring all our project components via Republic Act 9184, which is public bidding. NHA will be the only responsible office that will undertake the debris management as a first and major component. All 20 other components will be undertaken by departments or agencies that have their respective mandates,” HUDCC secretary-general Marcelino Escalada, Jr. said during the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Regional Interagency Meeting at the TFBM field office on Dec. 19.

Escalada, who is also general manager of the National Housing Authority (NHA), said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will handle the road network while the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is in charge of the construction of sanitary landfill.

He said this will be a better way to move forward with the Marawi rehabilitation because unlike the joint-venture agreement, it is legal and much faster.

“There is no better agency that can implement road network except DPWH, for sanitary landfill except (only) DENR. NHA will be the one to handle debris management for six to eight months. During the pendency of the project, all other 20 components will have parallel procurements and parallel issuance of notice to proceed. By June, July, or August of 2019, everyone can simultaneously start the project already, so we can meet our proposed timeline of 34 months,” he added.

To recall, the TFBM originally opted to use the joint-venture agreement as the mode of procurement in the Marawi rehabilitation but was later advised by government finance experts and lawyers that a joint venture agreement was not applicable to many aspects of the rehabilitation plan.

Meanwhile, despite recent complaints from homeowners about properties being demolished without their permission, Escalada said the NHA adopts a general rule of no-permit-no-demolition.

Escalada said he immediately suspended the operation upon learning about the issue. He added that he had met with the contractor in question during the pre-implementation conference and had instructed them then not to demolish properties without the required permits.

Due to the violation of said instruction, NHA is now considering the termination of the project with the contractor.

The guidelines for the application for demolition and acquiring permits were finalized during the inter-agency meeting. The NHA plans to disseminate the finalized document to the homeowners and, if necessary, translate it into the Cebuano, Maranao, and Tagalog dialects. (CTPenaco/PIA-ICCC)