DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 April 2018) — The chair of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) has named the nine firms — five Chinese and four Filipino — comprising the Bagong Marawi Consortium that will build the “new Marawi” within the 250-hectare Ground Zero, the former main battle area during the five-month siege, now referred to as Most Affected Area (MAA).
On Sunday, Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, concurrent chair of the task force that oversees the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts for Marawi and affected towns in Lanao del Sur, told MindaNews that the China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd. leads the consortium. “I don’t recall the eight others,” he said.
Followed up on Monday, del Rosario sent MindaNews, named the member firms through text message: China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd; Anhui Huali Construction Group Co. Ltd; China Geo Engineering Corp; TBEA Co., Ltd.; and Shandong Jinyuan Homes Industry Development Co. Ltd. — all from China; and Future Homes Ph Inc.; A. Brown Company, Inc.; H.S. Pow Construction and Development; and SDW Realty & Devt Inc. — based in the Philippines.
Del Rosario told MindaNews on Sunday that the proposal of Bagong Marawi Consortium for Ground Zero/MAA “was already selected and negotiation for the terms of reference, costing and project details will start April 2.”
While negotiations are ongoing “between the Developer and Technical Working Group,” a team composed of representatives from the local government units of Marawi, Lanao del Sur and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, TFBM and the Developer, “will also conduct ground consultations (with) all stakeholders on the second and third week of April.”
He said the team’s output “will be incorporated in the negotiation to come-up with the final MAA Rehab and Development Plan” and that their target date for completion of the final plan is last week of April as the Swiss Challenge is scheduled for first week of May.
On Monday, Del Rosario said ground consultations “will be undertaken from first to third week of April.” He later explained that consultations “might start on April 5 but will know exactly when I meet the team tomorrow (Tuesday).”
The Chinese firms
China State Engineering Corporation, Ltd. is a state-owned firm operating an “integrated construction and real estate company in China.’
According to its website, the firm is “the world’s largest investment construction group.”
Anhui Huali Construction Group Co. Ltd., established in 1952 and based in Hefei, China has a website in Chinese but its English translation is not accessible.
But according to Bloomberg.com, the firm is a “general construction engineering contractor” that engages in the construction of roads, bridges, tunnels, quays, sea-lanes, city infrastructure, environment protection facilities, industrial plants, and decorations; and manufactures construction equipment and materials.
The Beijing-based China Geo Engineering Corp., according to its website, was established in 1982 with the approval of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and was officially affiliated to the Ex-Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources of China.
“As one of the first few state-owned enterprises approved by the State Council to undertaking international contracting projects, CGC was granted with the permission of international project contracting, import and export of equipment, labor service export, and mineral resources reconnaissance and development,” it said.
Since its establishment, CGC has undertaken thousands of projects at home and abroad, consisting of energy performance contract-related “construction works of water supply and drainage, road and bridge construction, irrigation and hydropower, environmental protection, building, geotechnical engineering and geologic hazard treatment; geological and mineral reconnaissance and evaluation, and mineral resources development and management.”
The Corporation has consecutively been ranked among China’s “Top 30 International Contractors.
TBEA Co., Ltd., according to its website, “is an active participant in the three national strategy new industries of “high-end power transmission and transformation equipment manufacturing, renewable energy and new materials.”
Shandong Jinyuan Homes Industry Development Co. Ltd., is the fifth and last Chinese firm on Del Rosario’s list. The firm’s name yielded no result in an internet search but there is a Jinyuan Development Co. Ltd. which “deals with, among others polymethyl methacrylate pmma, pc, acrylic, sunshine plate hollowness board,” according to www.chinaenterprise.biz.
The Philippine partners
The Philippine partners in the Consortium are Future Homes Ph Inc.; A. Brown Company, Inc.; HS Pow Construction and Development; and SDW Realty and Development, Inc.
Future Homes Ph has no website, only a Facebook page and a mobile number. MindaNews sent a query to that number but did not receive a reply.
A. Brown Company, Inc., according to its website, is “the holding company for the various businesses of Dr. Walter W. Brown and family, with strategic interests in agribusiness (palm oil plantation and milling), power generation (coal, diesel, hydro and renewables) and resources (precious metals, oil and gas exploration).”
The firm has generally focused on business interests in Mindanao, “though both the power and real estate segments have investments in other regions.”
Real Estate is one of the core businesses of ABCI which developed the high-end Xavier Estates in Cagayan de Oro City, West Highlands in Butuan CIty Coral Resort Estates in Initao, Misamis Oriental, among others.
It said the company is “shifting its focus to middle income housing (classified as economic housing) and socialized housing to take advantage of the 3.0-million supply backlog in these sectors.”
H.S. Pow Construction and Development, according to its website, is a “General Building Contractor and General Engineering Company” with more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry.
H.S. POW Construction & Development Corporation “has successfully constructed high-rise buildings, industrial plants, warehouses, shopping malls, hotels, condominiums, residences, roads and bridges, commercial centers and mixed used development projects.”
SDW Realty & Development Inc., though its SDW Construction, is a General Contractor, that offers a “wide range of multi-disciplined construction services for projects of all sizes that are delivered on schedule and for the most economical price.”
Del Rosario said the Swiss Challenge is a faster process than going through public bidding.
“Kasi dapat makita natin dito na talagang at the end of the day, it’s a new city, lalo na ‘yung central business district at talagang mapaganda natin, hindi lang better but much, much better. Pag na-select ‘yung isang proponent, this will be subjected to Swiss challenge. But that any developer can challenge that development project with corresponding amount. Let’s say, sinabi niya, ‘We will do it at 100 billion.’ Here comes another developer: ‘O … we can do it similarly for 75 billion.’ Pag nag-challenge at hindi kaya nung initial proponent ‘yung 75 billion, the project will go to the other developer,” he told reporters in Malacanang on December 1.
On March 29, on the eve of the “M’Balingan Tano sa Ground Zero Peacful Protest Rally,” the Ranaw Multi Sectoral Movement (RMSM) issued an open letter appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to grant the Meranaws their right to rebuild Marawi City as they rejected the proposed rehabilitation plans “being imposed upon us” — including an ecozone and a military camp — by “those who live far from us.”
The letter described their future as “threatening” because “forces are moving that threaten to do far greater damage to our people than what the war has done.”
“In the guise of rebuilding our homes, in the guise of laying down the foundations of a better, progressive and modern city, the will and vision of those who live far from us who built this city are being imposed upon us. This is an invasion of a different kind. This one threatens to rob our soul,” the appeal, distributed via social media and read before the rally in Marawi last Friday, said.
Del Rosario maintained consultations were done through the local government units. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)
China-Ph consortium to build “new Marawi”