Beng counters critics on rehabilitation effort PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 July 2014 13:37

Mayor Beng Climaco has reassured residents of the city that she will do everything, with God’s grace, to ensure that the effort to build back a better Zamboanga will be accomplished the soonest time possible.

With conviction, the mayor said this in a recent forum organized by a private university where she spoke about the City’s steadfast stand to be excluded in the proposed Bangsamoro core territory—all of its 98 component barangays and its territorial waters as embodied in the national and local fishing laws, as well as other issues besetting the city.

“In times of problems, I want everyone to know, using integrity and transparency, that I, as mayor of the City of Zamboanga, will do all with God’s grace to ensure that we, with your help, will be able to rebuild and build back a better Zamboanga for the future of our children,” she declared.

This, in light of criticisms on the city’s alleged slow response in the transfer of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from the R.T. Lim Boulevard and the  Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex (JEMSC) to transitory sites and eventually to the permanent sites.

Mayor Climaco emphasized that the local government is closely coordinating with the national government and other agencies concerned in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts following the September 2013 siege. The city is totally dependent on the national government for funds to rebuild the city, she pointed out.

“Sabe vosotros, after going through the siege, a lot of people are getting to be very impatient. How come we have not transferred the IDPs from the grandstand?” the mayor detailed, as she offered an analogy to the answer.

She said she lost a house due to fire in 2011 but the same house was not reconstructed in days and months’ time. “You do not expect me to be able to build the house in one year period.”

The mayor could not stress enough how much effort is being invested to find ways to help the IDPs. She underscored problems, like sanitation in the grandstand that needs to be addressed while the local government is trying to take proper responses to the needs of the IDPs and at the same time of the city as a whole.

“But as mayor of the City of Zamboanga, I appeal to each and every one of you – Christians, Muslims, and Lumads – please help me bring Zamboanga back to its feet,” the mayor said, forcing back tears from her eyes.

In hindsight, the siege took place last Semptember 2013 and was perpetrated by  the Misuari faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The incident displaced thousands of families from the 6 hardest hit barangas- Rio Hondo, Mariki, Sta. Catalina, Kasanyangan, Mampang and Talon-talon.

Ten months after the siege, Mayor Climaco, during the forum, pledged that she will not leave her people behind.

“In times of problems, I want everyone to know, using integrity and transparency, that I, as mayor of the City of Zamboanga, will do all with God’s grace to ensure that we, with your help, will be able to rebuild and build back a better Zamboanga for the future of our children,” the mayor said with all candor and humility. — Juseph G. Elas (WMSU-OJT