Beng commiserates with Yolanda victims PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 November 2013 14:27

Mayor Beng Climaco has expressed sympathies for victims of super typhoon Yolanda that wrought havoc in the Visayas region last weekend, as she lamented that the series of disasters came while Zamboanga City was reeling from its own catastrophe brought about by the September siege.

“The events that transpired in our country the past days have been heartrending. The devastations wrought by the earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas came while our very own Zamboanga is still reeling from its own catastrophe caused by the 23-day conflict last September,” the mayor said in the Crisis Management Committee press briefing Tuesday afternoon.

While the city is occupied attending to the demands of its own people, the residents of Zamboanga commiserate with their suffering brothers and sisters in the Visayas region, some of whom are relatives of City Government employees.

She declared: “Our hearts grieve for the dead lining up the streets, the thousands still missing, the flattened homes, the destroyed infrastructures and the many other sad scenes we see due to the recent calamities.”

But as hard as it seems, the mayor expressed confidence that Bohol, Cebu, Tacloban, Ilo-ilo and all other areas affected by the earthquake and typhoon Yolanda and of course our very own Zamboanga City will get through this difficult time and emerge stronger.

The mayor reported that two months and 3 days since the September 9 crisis in Zamboanga, the local government continues without let up the provision of social services in evacuation centers, as temporary shelters are now being constructed in resettlement sites specifically in Taluksangay, Tulungatung and at the Baliwasan grandstand for the immediate transfer of the evacuees remaining in the total 16 evacuation centers (11 run by CSWD and 5 by DSWD).

The groundwork for the rebuilding of the affected communities is now being laid out with the UP PLANADES, which has been commissioned by the national government, preparing the rehab plan.

The chief executive, who is the CMC chair also spoke about efforts to consult with the internally displaced people (IDPs), barangay officials, lot owners and other sectors concerned to ensure that the stakeholders are made part of the decision-making process, particularly in the development of the recovery and rehabilitation plan.

The rehab plan, will be based on the policy of “build back better”, which  means building new and better community with proper facilities: standard road networks with proper drainage systems and all amenities needed with careful consideration of the different environmental issues.

“This is building back better — better houses, better communities and better Zamboanga for our children,” she pointed out.

Residents backed with presidential decrees, land titles, part of housing resettlements or any other legal instruments, are assured of going back to their places of origin.

She said ongoing also are tagging and mapping and data profiling to ensure that each and every legitimate resident of the affected barangays are properly documented. “With the number of houses burned and the families affected, data management and collection should be carefully and properly done”.

“We hope to make issues clear for it is through wrong information and miscommunication that people become anxious and impatient. This is the very reason for the panic caused in Mampang last Sunday and even the supposed unrest in the evac centers,” the mayor lamented.

She likewise clarified anew about the national government’s allocation of P3.89 billion for the Zamboanga rehab plan to include housing, shelter assistance, livelihood and other interventions. “PLEASE BE AWARE that these funds will be coursed through national government agencies specifically through the DPWH and the DSWD and NOT THROUGH THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT”.

In terms of donations or monetary assistance for the Zamboanga Crisis, the city government has received through its trust fund, a total of P19.563 million as of November 11, 2013. “We want to make it clear, also that these funds will be utilized for recovery and rehabilitation efforts and not for food or relief operations, as what the donors wish and specified when they turned over this assistance to us,” Mayor Climaco added. — Sheila Covarrubias