Beng to bishops, ulama: Help us build back better PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 November 2013 10:55

Mayor Beng Climaco has commended the bishops and the Islamic scholars (Ulama) for coming to terms with Zamboanga City in its current efforts to rise from the rubble of the 23-day siege even as she appealed for help to build back a better Zamboanga.

“We express our full respect to the bishops, the clergy, the ulama, the darul ifta and all other religious leaders who will guide us, mold us to be where we want to be, and we invite you to help us build back better,” Mayor Climaco said at the 41st Bishops-Ulama Conference General Assembly at the Harmony Village of Silsillah Dialogue Movement in Sinunuc Wednesday morning.

Climaco said it is this synergy of different faiths in the city that makes the transition to a new Zamboanga City workable and achievable, believing that before “we can transcend to a new one we have to heal the pains of division.”

“That is why I am very thankful to our clergy, the ulama, the darul iftah and even the Lumads for joining hands together to really regain Zamboanga because we claim it to be ours and we claim it to be our own,” she said.

The lady chief executive was a bit surprised why people in Zamboanga expressed a very limited gratitude unlike the people in Bohol who really went out of their ways to put (paint) thank you on their roofs.

“There is a gap. The gap lies in the hearts. There is pain. There has been mistrust and there has been a breaking of relationship that has to be healed in time,” Climaco lamented, but she added the people of Zamboanga nowadays have a sense of gratitude to God for having been spared from further destruction.

“Although we have been tested not only with the siege but even five days of incessant rains, we are thankful that we are what we are today,” she said.

At the same time, Climaco shared with the bishops and the ulama her four pillars of leadership principles anchored on the Ignatian spirituality, foremost of which being self-awareness and that is understanding her strengths, weaknesses, values and worldview.

From the Harmony Village, Climaco proceeded to the city coliseum in Tetuan where she addressed stakeholders of the rehabilitation cluster wherein she pointed out the build back better plan of the city government.

“The government aims to restore and improve facilities, livelihood and living conditions of the affected communities in Zamboanga in accordance with the build back better principle, to build resilient communities with better environment than they had prior to the siege,” she explained.

A report from the City Housing Division, which conducted the tagging and mapping operations for rehabilitation purposes, showed that the series of fire incidents throughout the 23-day siege last September had affected a total of 30,814 individuals or 6,045 families, and 5,012 house owners.

The fires totally destroyed 4,818 houses and partially damaged 194 others. — Vic Larato