THE Rehabilitation of Marawi City, which was ruined by local pro-Islamic State forces a few years ago, is gaining fast with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Sunday announcing that two contract packages for the Marawi Transcentral Roads will be completed by February 2021.

marawi city - Marawi City rehab moves forward – Villar
Photo shows part of the main battle area of the five-month Marawi siege. TMT FILE PHOTO

Despite a challenging 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said in a statement they were looking at 2021 with optimism beyond the completion of the contract packages in the capital of Lanao del Sur province in southern Mindanao.

“Our team from the DPWH Unified Project Management Office Operations (UPMO), headed by Undersecretary Emil Sadain, has just inspected and walked through the Marawi Transcentral Roads. And we are on track to see the revitalization and renaissance that Marawi City is close to realizing,” he added.

During the inspection, Sadain was accompanied by UPMO Project Directors Virgilio Castillo and Sharif Madsmo Hasim, Bureau of Maintenance Director Ernesto Gregorio Jr. and Project Manager Francisco Sawali.

In his report to Villar, Sadain said contractor Kouzbary Builders was ready to meet next month’s deadline for the completion of the two contract packages.

The packages covered the MSU-GMA Road, Lumindong-Amaipakpak Avenue, Marcos Boulevard, Idarus Road, Bacong-Poona Marantao-Marawi Road, Marawi-Cadre-New Capitol Road, GMA Terminal Access Road, Bacong-Marantao Section, MSU-Beyaba Damag Section, Basak-Malutlut-Datu Saber Section, Matampay-Emie Section, Sagonsongan-Saguiaran Junction, Saguiaran Road Section and Lancaf-Heaven Road Gap Section.

The road rehabilitation projects costing P970.973 million, according to Sadain, were financed by a grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and are expected to improve mobility of people and provide better access to goods and services.

The Asian Development Bank will also finance projects under the Reconstruction and Development Plan for a Greater Marawi, a master development plan geared toward inclusive economic growth for Marawi City and its peripheral areas.

Components of the plan include the construction of the 21.87-kilometer Transcentral Road Phase 4, Malabang Viaduct, bridges and five other projects on the list of the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program.

Meanwhile, the DPWH also announced that it has completed the construction of a new healthcare facility in Marawi.

Villar said the Sagonsongan Multipurpose Building at the Barangay Sagonsongan relocation site has been temporarily transformed into quarantine quarters for cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The building, the DPWH secretary added, has a 40-bed capacity and will cater to asymptomatic and mild Covid-19-positive cases.

Vilar and Sadain recently turned over the healthcare facility to the provincial government, headed by Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr.

“The facility will provide the much-needed boost to the healthcare capacity of Lanao del Sur. With it, those infected with the virus will be isolated away from their communities to halt the spread of the disease,”Sadain said.

With about 509 similar facilities completed nationwide that account for 9,083 beds, the government is expediting the completion of 211 more facilities with 7,135 beds across the country, he added.

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