IDPs’ temporary return to Layag-layag okayed PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 01 December 2014 11:45

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH) has allowed the return of siege-affected families to Layag-layag including Leha-leha and Sumariki- all island sitios in Talon-talon but only until the completion of their permanent shelters in resettlement sites.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, who serves as the overall  head of the Zamboanga rehabilitation, has granted the request last November 17, based on resolution 36 approved October 29 by the Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC) which is headed by Mayor Beng Climaco.

Assistant City Administrator Elmeir Apolinario, Ph.D., head of the Temporary Shelter Cluster said Singson’s approval comes with certain conditions that include the signing of the affidavit of undertaking by the families concerned and the establishment of security outposts or detachments in the concerned areas prior to the temporary return.

The affidavit in effect certifies that the families fully agree that their return to Layag-layag, Leha-leha or Sumariki is temporary in nature and that they will transfer to their permanent sites as soon as the Z3R housing projects in their resettlement area are completed and ready for occupancy. It will be signed through the City Legal Office with witnesses from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).

Apolinario said as soon as the initial preparations are ready, movement of IDPs from the evacuation center in Talon-talon Elementary School and some from the Philippine Tuberculosis Society Inc. (PTSI) transitory site in Upper Calarian and Masepla in Mampang will take place.  “In that way, we will decongest the Talon-talon Elementary School and the PTSI (transitory site)”.

Almost 80 families are to be affected by the movement to the island sitios, 67 of which are currently staying in the Talon-talon Elementary School evacuation center, 9 in PTSI Transitory site and some in the Mampang transitory site.

Under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R), the island sitios of Layag-layag, Leha-leha and Sumariki are identified as no-return, no build zone areas in view of geo-hazard policies and security concerns.

The permanent housing for the families in the 3 island sitios is located in Kasanyangan, where there are 3 Z3R housing packages—all of which are to be bid out within the week.                                                                                                           Following the DPWH approval, the city government has also written Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman informing about the development. — Sheila Covarrubias