Clearing of grandstand IDPs seen in Dec.- Dinky PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 06 September 2014 13:41

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman was optimistic yesterday that the Joaquin F. Enrique Memorial Sports Complex in Baliwasan can be cleared of internally displaced persons (IDPs) by December 15.

Sec. Soliman said the sports complex is presently occupied only by 2,304 families or 12,476 individuals displaced by the Zamboanga siege almost a year ago.

Of the number, she said the 1,658 families will be relocated to three transitional sites—443 families in Tulungatung, 106 families in Sitio Buggoc and 225 families at Masepla in Mampang. The rest of the IDPs, about 646 families, can still be accommodated in Bucco, given its expanded area.

Soliman said the Dec. 15 deadline was a realistic enough to clear the grandstand of the IDPs, now that the Cawa-Cawa shorelines have already been cleared of the IDPs, following their relocation to Masepla transitional site and other temporary shelters.

She said efforts were underway to transfer all IDPs to temporary shelters before all of them can be moved to permanent shelters, which are under construction by the National Housing Authority.

Meanwhile, the DSWD secretary said the agency had already spent a total of P363,946,629 in various forms of assistance extended to the IDPs since the siege broke out on Sept. 9, 2013.

The amount did not include the P1.6 billion allocated by the national government for the construction of permanent shelters and the Home Materials Assistance at P30,000 each affected family. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has also its separate budget for the construction of road networks and waterways.

Sec. Soliman admitted though that almost a year had passed since the siege yet there are still many things to be done to rebuild the affected areas much better than they were before the siege. “But, the efforts have shifted (maybe slowly but constantly) from response to recovery and reconstruction.”

She said the transfer of Sama Badjao families from Cawa-Cawa shorelines to Masepla may have been delayed by one week, but what was important the boulevard is now cleared of IDPs. The next target is the grandstand one of before Dec. 15, 2014. — Vic Larato