Beng, Dinky lead ceremonial grandstand decommissioning PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 11:22

As part of the ongoing rehabilitation and recovery efforts towards building back better, Mayor Beng Climaco, together with Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, undertook the ceremonial decommissioning of the Grandstand as an evacuation center and as a transitory site Monday morning, July 20.

In a symbolic gesture, Climaco, accompanied by Soliman, International Organization on Migration (IOM) Chief of Mission Marco Boasso, and local officials and leaders, manually dismantled the first shelter box unit that was set up in Grandstand when it opened its doors to displaced families in the early days of the crisis last 2013.

The local chief executive stressed the careful consideration that underwent in the decommissioning of the Grandstand, and in facilitating the transfer of IDP families who expressed willingness to move to temporary shelter sites while awaiting the completion of their permanent homes under the Z3R plan by the National Housing Authority (NHA).

“This is a product of careful consultation, coordination, due respect to human dignity, and also the sincere effort of the local government to ensure that the safety of all is priority,” emphasized Climaco.

She also reiterated the stand of the local government to always ensure the welfare of IDP families.

“Alyi hinde quita ta palta como un govierno local. We are shelling out assistance for them, in the form of cash for work, temporary housing,” she said.

Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, who arrived in the City on Sunday, said the DSWD stands behind the LGU move to close the Grandstand as an evacuation center and as a transitory site.

“Sinusoportahan namin ang decision ng LGU na isara na iyon [Grandstand]. Bukas na bukas, meron ng cash for work na ibibigay…para linisin ang Grandstand,” said Soliman.

To date, only 62 families are left at the Grandstand. They will be moving to temporary shelters in Buggoc and Lupa-Lupa within the week.

The Grandstand served as the primary evacuation center for the families displaced by the armed conflict last 2013. At the height of the crisis, it housed around 3,000 families – roughly 13,000 individuals – making the Grandstand one of the largest evacuation centers and transitory sites in the City.

“We thank God, Allah, Jesus, for making the Grandstand our haven of housing, of temporary shelters, all throughout the siege,” Climaco said.

Meanwhile, demolition of structures at the Grandstand is currently ongoing to pave the way for the rehabilitation of the sports center, a Php 335 M undertaking of the local government.

After the ceremonial dismantling, Climaco and Soliman made their way to Kasanyangan Recovery Shelter site for a project inspection and walk-through with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.

Present during the decommissioning were DSWD Regional Director Zeny Arevalo, Executive Assistant for Muslim Affairs Jojo Abdusalam, Father Sebastiano D’Ambra, Father Michael Ufana, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office head and Temporary Shelter Sector lead Elmeir Apolinario, humanitarian partners, local officials, and civil society organizations.