MANILA, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wants to completely rebuild war-torn southern Philippine city of Marawi by 2022, or before he finishes his single, six-year term in office, his spokesman said on Tuesday.
Harry Roque told foreign correspondents in a forum that it will take years to rebuild the city ravaged by the five-month intense fighting between the government security forces and the pro-Islamic State (IS) militants.
Roque, who has recently visited Marawi, said that the city is completely ruined and needs to be rebuilt from scratch, especially the "ground zero" or the the most affected area.
Initial estimates say rebuilding could cost the government from 100 billion pesos (1.95 billion U.S. dollars) to 150 billion pesos (2.92 billion U.S. dollars).
Roque said that the government has no plans for rehabilitating buildings or house in the ground zero which consist of 200 to 250 hectares.
"The plan is to flatten it and redesign the whole area. There will be four-lane roads, instead of two-lane roads. There will be a promenade along the river. It will be a major tourist attraction," he said.
Roque said the government plans to bid the projects, adding that "giant real estate companies from around the world" will be invited to participate in the bidding to rebuild the heavily affected areas. Bidding will start next month, he said.
"Timetable is before the president leaves office in 2022 we would have completely rebuilt Marawi," Roque said.
Meanwhile, Roque said the government is planning to build nearly 7,000 temporary shelters for the displaced residents whose houses were destroyed in the war. The first 500 temporary shelters are expected to be turned over to some residents by December 15, he said.
The bulk of Marawi City is part of a military reservation and the military will carefully sweep the area for unexploded improvised explosive devices or IEDs, he said.
More than 1,200 people were killed in the fighting when extremists laid siege to Marawi in May. The war also displaced close to 500,000 city and residents and people in nearby towns.