Donor’s forum boosts rehabilitation efforts PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 06 October 2013 13:55

Various international and national donor organizations have pledged financial aid and support for the rehabilitation of Zamboanga City during a donor’s forum held in Manila, October 3.

Organized by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) led by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, the donor’s forum  yielded positive results that would help boost the city’s rehabilitation efforts.

Mayor Beng Climaco said the forum yielded a total of P4.616M in checks aside from pledges and commitments from other donor organizations to include big corporations.

“We are very thankful,” said Mayor Beng Climaco, disclosing that the assistance and support extended and that will be extended by the donor groups will go a long way in the rehabilitation of Zamboanga City following devastations wrought by a 20-day crisis.

The P4.616M was a collective contribution made by different individuals and groups to include P3M from the House of Representatives (each member donated P10,000 from their salaries); P500T from the personal savings of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; P100T from the PDP Laban Foundation/Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III; P11T (in cash) from the staff of the Speaker of the House; P5,000 from Mr. Edgardo Gene Samson Jr., and P1 million from the City Government of Muntinlupa, a sister city of Zamboanga.

Aside from the checks and cash, the United Nations (UN) also pledged $3 million worth of technical assistance that will be coursed through interventions by the various UN organizations.

Other than this, Climaco said, various other international donors have also committed to assist and support the city, such as the Agencia Española, the development arm of the Spanish government as well as the Japanese Embassy and huge corporations like the ABS-CBN Foundation which promised to undertake feeding programs and the Manny Pangilinan Group of Companies which will facilitate the construction of some 100 houses by the Gawad Kalinga.

The Habitat for Humanity will also be the primary partner of Department of Public Works and Highways and the DSWD in the building of houses.

The donor’s forum was graced by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, District I Representative Celso Lobregat and Office of Civil Defense Underscretary Del Rosario.

Among the international donors present were the UN, United Nations Development Program, World Health Organization, International Organization for Migration, International Labor Organization, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, United States Agency for International Development, Australian Agency for International Development, Agencia Española, Italian Embassy, Japanese Embassy, France Embassy, Swiss Embassy, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office and big corporations like ABS-CBN, PLDT, Smart, La Farge and many others.

“The world listens, and we are not alone,” said Climaco, who along with other officials, flew to Makati to issue a clarion call for support, donations and aid for the City.

Despite the trauma of the three-week crisis, the Mayor said that the national government should continue its dialogues with all the diverse voices in Mindanao to achieve peace in the region. — Sheila Covarrubias with reports from Jasmine Mohammadsali