MANILA, June 5, 2018 – The South Korean government is committed to assist the Philippines’ rehabilitation program for war-torn Marawi City, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said Tuesday.
“The Korean government said that they are committed to assist us in the Marawi rehabilitation program,” Dominguez said in a press briefing in Seoul, South Korea.
He said South Korea is just waiting for final plans “so we can ask them exactly what we need from them.”
“They did not mention any amount but definitely, I think it’s going to be very substantial,” Dominguez told Filipino reporters covering President Rodrigo Duterte’s three-day official visit to South Korea.
According to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), at least PHP75 billion would be needed to rebuild Marawi City, which was ravaged by a five-month war between government troops and the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group.
The 2017 Marawi siege had left 167 soldiers, more than 1,000 Maute fighters, and 47 civilians dead. It also displaced 359,000 people.
The TBFM said total damages and losses had reached PHP18 billion, mostly in 24 barangays covering 250 hectares of the most-affected area or ground zero.
Recently, the task force has been negotiating with the Bangon Marawi Consortium, which submitted a proposal amounting to PHP17.2 billion to rebuild the most-affected area.
The contract is expected to come out soon but TBFM clarified that it will be subjected to a Swiss challenge, where other companies can bid to match the consortium’s proposal.
The consortium is composed of five Chinese and four Filipino companies.
The TFBM said it will take three years to rebuild the most-affected area.
Dominguez said the Korean government is very supportive of the actions of the Duterte administration.
The President’s three-day official visit to Seoul, at the invitation of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, has yielded USD4.9-billion worth of investments, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. (PNA)