Recovery phase empowers IDPs- Beng PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 10:48

The rehabilitation for Zamboanga City is now entering the early recovery phase with due emphasis being placed on measures to empower and help internally displaced persons (IDPs) stand back on their feet.

In a press brief Monday, December 2, Mayor Beng Climaco said that, together with humanitarian partners, food-for-work projects are being introduced to help IDPs, especially those who prefer to stay in the Grandstand, earn a living and be less dependent on the government.

This measure is designed to signal a return to normalcy, and is also a bid to actively involve IDPs in the rehabilitation plan. One of the most recent food-for-work project involved residents assisting in clean-up activities in the barangays affected by the 23-day siege.

At this point in time, plans are being finalized in preparation for its submission to the national government for the budget deliberation. These will be presented to Public Works and Highway Secretary Rogelio Singson, who currently heads the rehabilitation efforts for Zamboanga City, said Climaco.

Meanwhile, the temporary bunkhouses in Tulungatung resettlement area were recently turned over. While at least 500 families opted to move to the resettlement area, the Mayor also acknowledged that a number of IDPs also refused to transfer.

“We cannot force them if they do not want to transfer,” said Climaco. Continued dialogues with the IDPs, through the Darul Ifta and the Philippine Council of Sama Badjao, will be undertaken in order to address these concerns and resolve issues.

Temporary shelters are expected to be in place for at least three months before transitioning towards the establishment of permanent housing, in coordination with National House Authority (NHA).

Whether these homes will be provided as grants or will have to be paid for by beneficiaries will still be clarified with the NHA.

The local government is also looking into the possibility of building back in the place of origins of the IDPs, but Climaco emphasized that this would have to undergo further study and discussion with the DPWH, considering that, by law, coastal areas are classified as no build-zones. — Jamine Mohammadsali