Debris clearing in Marawi stopped due to firm’s lack of permits
ILIGAN CITY — The contractor clearing debris from a portion of a 250-hectare area in Marawi City destroyed by the war on terror last year was ordered to stop its work in the absence of two key permits—environmental and demolition.
The National Housing Authority (NHA) gave the order on Friday to Finmat International Resources Inc. (Firi), which won the contract to clear Sector 1 of what had become the main battleground between Islamic State and government forces in Marawi.
Engineer Ikmat Inono Bantuas, NHA rehabilitation manager for Marawi’s main battle area, issued the order dated Dec. 6 directing Firi to suspend its work immediately until it submitted an environmental compliance certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and demolition permit from the city government of Marawi.
Firi won the contract to demolish and knock down structures in Sector 1 and was supposed to resume the work when Bantuas’ order came.
The order, a copy of which was obtained by the Inquirer on Dec. 8, said Firi could resume work only after submitting the two documents.
Firi is a member of PowerChina Consortium, which had been awarded the contract to clear debris in Sector 1 that included the villages of Tolali and Daguduban.
Its work included demolishing structures, which should be covered by waivers from owners, and clearing and disposal of debris.
The clearing of debris was the first stage in the rehabilitation program and should come before road construction and installation of underground cables.
Building construction would follow the first two stages.
The contract for the third stage, building construction, was still open for negotiations with local contractors, including Firi, according to Housing Assistant Secretary Felix Castro, field office manager of Task Force Bangon Marawi.
As of Dec. 6, eight structures had already been demolished with the consent of their owners, said Demy Tejares, Firi project manager.
He said the sites of 39 other structures, which had collapsed during the war and 29 more, which “were about to collapse and were unsafe” had been cleared.
Tejares said Firi demolished only structures, which had been covered by waivers from owners.
In Sector 1, he said, more than 70 structures were set to be torn down with the consent of their owners.
Only eight structures had been demolished as of now because of paper work, Tejares said.
Castro said contracts for clearing the other portions of the 250-ha main battleground were still being negotiated.
Demolishing structures, which had already been covered by waivers from owners had to be suspended in cases where these structures were surrounded by other buildings whose owners didn’t want their property to be destroyed, Castro said.
“It makes our work slow,” he said.
In another case, Castro said some sites had not been cleared yet of unexploded ordnance.
Firi, which had been given a notice to proceed with clearing work on Nov. 17, had set a deadline to finish the job in March next year.
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