Gov’t provides over P189-M worth of assistance to victims of Zambo crisis PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 October 2013 13:25

The Aquino government has extended over P189 million worth of assistance to the families affected by the armed conflict that occurred in Zamboanga City recently involving forces reportedly loyal to Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari, a Palace official said.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Friday that government will continue to address the needs of the families affected by the armed conflict last September.

“You may be interested to know that the total assistance that has been given by way of food assistance, by way of non-food items as well as financial assistance for transportation, medical costs or expenses, for burial, etc., as well as the cash-for-work programs that have been initiated in several barangays in Zamboanga City now come up to P189,520,762,” Valte said.

The Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) continues to provide psychosocial and critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) to the victims of the Zamboanga standoff, Valte said.

“Siyempre, apart from the assistance for infrastructure, kasama sa mandato ng DSWD ang pagbibigay ng psychological assistance to the victims,” she said.

To address the needs of women and children, Valte said the DSWD had set up special Day Care Centers and Child and Women-Friendly Spaces in the evacuation centers.

Valte said the children were provided with supplemental food in the evacuation centers. The DSWD also launched a program called Supervised Neighborhood Play to help ease the anxiety of the children.

“Kasama na siyempre diyan po iyon feeding for the breastfeeding mothers that have also been affected, as well as pre-natal care for pregnant women and health care for newly-delivered women,” she said.

“At nakikitulong na rin po ang TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) when it comes to the cash-for-work program for the victims and evacuees,” she said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways started conducting clearing operations at areas affected by the 25-day fighting between the government and the said MNLF faction.

“One of the challenges, again, of national government in Zamboanga City, now that unti-unti na pong bumabalik ang mga pamilya doon sa kanilang mga bahay kung meron pa silang babalikan ay ang clearing operations for the debris... isa ito sa mga immediate needs na pinupunan naman po ng DPWH,” she said.

The Aquino government is readying the P3.9 billion funds to speed up rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts for the affected communities.

The government has already drafted a rehabilitation plan which includes the relocation, housing, shelter, livelihood, and other assistance for the affected families.