‘We will build back better — Mayor Beng PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 October 2013 10:35

Mayor Beng Climaco the other day admitted that the rebuilding and reconstruction of Zamboanga City from the ravages of the 23-day conflict is a gargantuan task but vowed that the city’s ultimate mission is to build back better homes and better city for the benefit of the young children.

The devastation wrought by the conflict perpetrated by lawless elements is so enormous that requires a multi-faceted approach to ensure that all those affected and the city in general will recover from the losses incurred.

Last week, the Crisis Management Committee (CMC) approved the proposed Zamboanga City Relief, Humanitarian, Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Coordination Structure which details the composition of the various committees or clusters that will be involved in the implementation of the rehabilitation program in coordination with national and international partner agencies.

Congresswoman Lilia Nuno will be the adviser for the relief and humanitarian aspect while Cong. Celso Lobregat will be the adviser for the rehabilitation and reconstruction aspect.

Mayor Climaco, as chairman of the CMC will be the lead official in all the programs while City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. will be the over-all coordinator. The City Council on the other hand will play a very important role in policy direction.

“We need to do a lot of data management and collection that is why it is taking so much time,” the mayor said referring to criticisms that the rehabilitation program is taking a long time to start. “With the number of houses burned, we need to identify the ownership of properties and the type of ownership—whether it is temporary, based on presidential decree or with titles”.

The mayor emphasized that the rehabilitation and reconstruction program will involve capacity building, housing and settlements, social infrastructure, utilities, livelihood, governance, justice and rule of law. “These are very important because the general plan of the city is to rebuild—build back better. We will go down to all of the evacuation centers, to all of the barangays—the chairpersons, tanods wlll be mobilized to dialogue with the people because we want them to be part of the decision-making.”

On the other hand, most of the programs under the humanitarian and relief aspects are continuous while the initial/ preliminary stages for the rehabilitation/ reconstruction aspects have already started.

Construction of bunkhouses at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex in Baliwasan and the Taluksangay resettlement site has already started Friday and Saturday respectively.  The program is spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in cooperation with the Habitat for Humanity and International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other agencies.

Consultations with the lot owners, barangay officials and residents of the affected barangays are also undertaken by the City Assessor’s Office, Land Housing and Management Division and other agencies concerned. — Sheila Covarrubias