Beng dialogues with IDPs PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 11:14

As part of the City’s efforts to effectively reach out to internally displaced persons (IDPs), Mayor Beng Climaco together with City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. Wednesday morning dialogued with residents of Hongkong, Rio Hondo to discuss about the city’s recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

Facilitated by the Early Recovery Cluster, the dialogue at the City Hall conference room aimed to clarify issues and concerns related to the provision of temporary shelters and the plan of the government in rehabilitating the conflict-affected barangays to include Rio Hondo.

The over 50 IDPs coming from the Sama Dilaut tribe were headed by Kapala Panglima. They meeting was also made possible through the assistance of Mucha Shim.

Mayor Climaco explained that the IDPs from Rio Hondo just like those from  Mariki cannot go back to their places of origins as of yet pending rehabilitation plans currently being finalized by the national government.

“Bigyan natin ang gobyerno ng panahon para ayusin muna ang mga plano,” she appealed to the IDPs lamenting the fact that the local government has no funds to rehabilitate the structures and facilities damaged by the 23-day conflict last September.  “Ang pera ay manggagaling sa national government. Sana kung naayos na ang plano, ipi-present naming ito sa inyo, pero ang gusto ko talaga, as mayor, maibalik kayo, kung puede lang sa lugar na inyong pinanggalingan”.

Rio Hondo and Mariki were severely damaged by the conflict where some 90% of the homes and structures were flattened by fire or riddled with bullets and cable lines and utility connections were toppled. These areas will be the concentration of the rehab plan, thus, the return of the IDPs would hamper the implelmentation of the rehab plan which will be based on the policy of build back better Zamboanga.

She said the City Government is doing the best it can to rehabilitate the families affected and help them stand back on their feet. “Kailangan magkaisa tayo nang sa gayon ay we can build back better houses and better Zamboanga”.

The mayor also emphasized that the Cawa-cawa boulevard is becoming a risky area for the IDPs as it poses traffic hazards and health risks. Only IDPs originally from Zamboanga and those whose names are properly validated and assessed by the concerned government agency will be included in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

A temporary site where the Sama families in Cawa-cawa Boulevard can be transferred, preferably near the sea, is being explored by the local government.

On the other hand, Mayor Climaco is set to meet Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, the UP PLANADES team and other officials concerned in Manila to  discuss final details of the rehab plan before it is presented to President Aquino for approval.

Over the past days, the mayor also met and consulted with other IDP groups including non-government organizations and other sectors to get their pulse concerning recovery and rehab plans. — Sheila Covarrubias