Rio Hondo, Mariki focus of rehab effort PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 December 2013 11:33

The barangays of Rio Hondo and Mariki, which have been severely affected by the September siege, are still close to reconstruction of houses by the evacuees, pending finalization of the rehabilitation plan that the city government is working on with UP Planades and other agencies.

Mayor Beng Climaco made the clarification during a press briefing Monday after the Tribute to Heroes ceremonies.

“No one is allowed to go back if you do not own the place. No one is allowed to bring in (construction) materials because this might jeopardize the rehabilitation plan,” Climaco said even as she added that some evacuees from Rio Hondo may be transferred to the Rio Hondo Elementary School but only those with children studying at the said school.

City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr., who was the crisis manager at the height of the siege, said the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will be constructing bunkhouses inside the Rio Hondo Elementary School only for evacuees with children studying thereat.

He reiterated that there has been a standing order by the CMC that no one is allowed to bring construction materials inside Rio Hondo and Mariki so as not, as the mayor has said, to jeopardize the plan prepared by UP Planades.

Climaco explained that the rehabilitation plan will certainly give emphasis on the geo-hazard map, which by law is a no build zone as it will endanger the lives and properties of the occupants in times of calamity just as what had happened to the Yolanda-stricken areas in Visayas.

She also said the cultural norms and sensitivity of the evacuees will also be taken into consideration, citing the Sama Badjao for example thrive in the sea and their livelihood depends on the sea “so they will have to be relocated to areas near the sea as well.”

In the meantime, Climaco said the recovery phase of the grand rehabilitation efforts is taking its course progressively, wherein the evacuees or the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are given temporary but comfortable and safe shelters via bunkhouses.

Already, about 500 families from the grandstand have voluntarily relocated to the newly constructed bunkhouses at the city government’s resettlement area in Tulungatung, west of this city.

The relocation started last Friday when 21 bunkhouses were turned over by the Army’s engineering brigade to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the city government through Mayor Climaco.

The bunkhouses were funded by the DSWD in the amount of P6.3 million and implemented by the 52nd Engineer Brigade of the Philippine Army. Similar bunkhouses are currently under construction in Taluksangay.

Climaco said evacuees occupying the grandstand and the boulevard will not be forced to transfer to any temporary shelters.

“But we will continue talking to them in dialogue because our objective is to provide our evacuees with temporary shelters that are conducive, comfortable and safe for them. The grandstand was not intended for families but for sports,” the mayor said. — Vic Larato