7th Infocar brings build back better promise to Rio Hondo TS PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 May 2014 11:30

The Information Caravan made its seventh stop at the Rio Hondo transitory site Thursday, May 8 to engage with the internally displaced persons (IDPs) on matters concerning the rehabilitation and recovery efforts for Zamboanga City.

Around 130 families participated in the activity, and in the process, were reassured of the local government’s commitment to all IDPs, and the Build Back Better promise.

Facilitating the discussions and the open forum were the resource persons from the City Government, the National Housing Authority (NHA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) who presented the significant updates on ongoing rehabilitation measures.

Also on hand were the information teams from DOLE and DSWD who manned help desks to accommodate the concerns of IDPs at the end of the program, and the Philippine Toy Library – Zamboanga (PTL – Zamboanga) who distributed toys and school supplies in a separate activity for the children.

Aside from providing update reports, and a venue for an open forum between government agencies and the IDPs, the Caravan also sought to encourage IDPs to be active participants in the rehabilitation work. To date, separate consultations on critical concerns such as shelter are being undertaken by the local government in order to have a clear view of what the IDPs want and prefer, in deference to their needs and cultural sensitivities.

As rehabilitation efforts go full swing, IDPs were enjoined to be vigilant and cautious against illegal recruiters and traffickers who seek to take advantage of their situation. The IDPs were encouraged to apply directly to DOLE and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) as both organizations are on standby to assist them find potential employment opportunities abroad.

The Information Caravan series is spearheaded by the Communications Working Group (CWG) composed of the Public Information Division under the Office of the City Mayor, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Social Welfare and Development, United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), International Organization for Migration (IOM), other humanitarian organizations and the Philippine International Non-government organizations or PINGON and local implementing partners.

It is also the City Government’s response to address information gaps and misinformation regarding the rehabilitation efforts.

Previous caravans were held at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex, the Talon-Talon Elementary School, the Zamboanga East and West Central Schools, the Tulungatung Transitory Site, and the PTSI site in Upper Calarian.

A separate caravan was also conducted for home-based IDPs at the City Coliseum. — Jasmine Mohammadsali