Displaced residents rest inside their tent at an evacuation center in Marawi City, the Philippines, May 21, 2018. Rehabilitation efforts for the war-torn Marawi City will be in full swing starting on June 2018, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
MARAWI, the Philippines, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The rehabilitation work in the former battle area in the war-torn Marawi city will start in June and will be completed by 2021, a Philippines official said on Monday.
Felix Castro, the assistant secretary of Urban Development Coordinating Council and the manager of the Task Force Bangon Marawi Field Office, told Xinhua that the rehabilitation of the Marawi city in the southern Philippines, which will be divided to two phases, will start in June.
"The first phase is debris clearing, which will take around six months to 12 months. After that horizontal infrastructures will be laid, certain roads will be widened. We will improve the tunnel because we will no longer have hanging electric lines. Electric lines will be all underground. So, that will take around 12 months to 18 months," Castro said.
That means the rehabilitation work will be finished by 2021.
Extremists and terrorists attacked Marawi City in May last year, triggering a five-month heavy fighting that ruined a big part of the city. At least 1,200 people were killed in the war and thousands of its residents were also displaced.
However, the Philippines is still looking for a developer who will conduct the debris clearing in the city's central business district which the military calls the "most affected area," said Castro.
Aside from roads, the government is also looking at building various public infrastructures.
The Philippine authorities said in April that a consortium of Chinese and Filipino firms will build the new Marawi.
Castro said the government is in the final stage of negotiations with the Chinese-led consortium.
"Negotiations are still ongoing," Castro said, adding that the final plan has yet to be finalized.
Castro said the Philippines is looking forward to the Chinese experts who will help rebuild Marawi.
"We will continue to welcome the help of the Chinese considering the fact that we know that these companies are professional in their own fields and they will do a good job once they start working in Marawi," Castro added.