Grandstand evacuation center to close soon PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 April 2015 14:25

The Early Recovery Cluster is gearing up for the closure of the evacuation center at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex (JEMSC) or grandstand in Baliwasan, as the City Government hopes to start renovation of the facility soon.

Assistant City Administrator Elmeir Apolinario, who heads the temporary shelter cluster said the 679 families with 5,000 individuals are set to be transferred to transitory sites following the necessary social preparations and the physical preparations of transfer sites.

Apolinario said the planned closure has been extensively discussed with Mayor Beng Climaco, other government agencies as well as humanitarian and NGO partners. He stressed that actual legwork for the transfer will commence this week with closure of the facility set by the end of May.

A small area at the complex will be allocated for the recovery shelter where some 200 families will be remain while waiting for the completion of their permanent houses under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) project.

Apolinario last Tuesday afternoon also met with the core group representing the different agencies and humanitarian organizations involved to tackle other issues concerning the planned transfer.

Personnel from the City Engineer’s Office are expected to barricade the area delineating the recovery shelter from the evacuation center.

Meanwhile, the CEO with the assistance of the United Architects Association of the Philippines (UAAP) has been tasked to prepare the rehabilitation of the sports complex. The plan will be submitted to the Office of the President for the consequent release of funds.

The JEMSC was the biggest evacuation center at the onset of the crisis following the September 2013 siege with over 118,000 families. At present, the number has dwindled following the transfer of affected families to transitory sites or availment of the home materials assistance (HOMA) or other programs like Balik Probinsya or Balik Barangay and  the rent a house program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. — Sheila Covarrubias