By ARGYLL CYRUS GEDUCOS
Foreign companies from China and Malaysia are interested to bid for the rehabilitation of the war-torn city of Marawi in Lanao del Sur, the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) reported Friday.
TFBM undersecretary and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) secretary-general Falconi Millar said companies from the two Asian countries are among the five groups willing to submit unsolicited proposals for the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
An unsolicited proposal or bid is a written application for a new or innovative idea submitted for the purpose of obtaining a contract with the government.
“We expect about five or six proponents to be submitted on Monday. That’s the deadline we told them,” he said in a Palace press briefing Friday.
“Foreign companies have signified their intention to participate…[they are] coming from China and Malaysia,’ he added, citing internal communications.
The TFBM already explained last December, 2017 that there will be no bidding for the reconstruction of Marawi City and that the proposals of the proponents would be subjected to the Swiss challenge.
“We are not going to conduct bidding. Ang ginawa natin dito (What we did was), we called all probable developers, big-time developers, foreign and national, [and] we allowed them to see the most affected area,” HUDCC chairperson Eduardo del Rosario said in December.
Del Rosario said the invited developers will be submitting their unsolicited proposals which he will present to the Cabinet which will decide which is the most applicable to Marawi City and will undergo the Swiss challenge.
The Swiss challenge is a form of public procurement where the government publishes an unsolicited bid or proposal for third parties to match or exceed it.
“Kasi dapat makita natin dito na talagang (We have to see that) at the end of the day, it’s a new city, lalo na ‘yung (especially the) central business district at talagang mapaganda natin, hindi lang (and really make it not just) better but much, much better,” he added.
Del Rosario said the rebirth of Marawi City into a new city can commence faster through the Swiss challenge.
This seems a much better and faster process than the usual bidding, he said in the vernacular.
Duterte has denounced the lowest-bid type of procurement as he said this promotes corruption.
Marawi City became the battleground of the government troops against the Daesh-inspired Maute group which laid siege in the city for five months last year.
The war in Marawi City also prompted President Duterte to declare martial law in the entire island in Mindanao to address the threat of terrorism, and eventually its extension until the end of 2018 to address existing threats and secure the safety of those taking part in the rehabilitation.