135 families leave RT Lim Boulevard PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 December 2013 11:10

At least 135 families voluntarily dismantled their tents and makeshift shelters on the reclaimed portion of R.T. Lim Boulevard as they peacefully returned to their respective barangays, Zone 1 in particular, yesterday morning.

This, after the census and mapping operations conducted by the Housing and Land Use Division of the City Mayor’s Office upon the request of the now deactivated Crisis Management Committee (CMC) showed that the 135 families were not directly affected by the 23-day siege last September.

City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. led personnel of his office, Housing Division and City Hall Community Police Action Center (Compac) policemen that supervised the orderly pullout of the evacuees from the reclaimed portion of the boulevard.

Orendain said the evacuee-families occupying on the boulevard’s road center-islands, particularly those near the port area, will be the next to pull out, but for the meantime they will be transferred to the portion of the boulevard that was vacated by 135 families yesterday.

He said he had requested Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Zenaida Arevalo to effect the transfer the soonest time possible so that the road center-islands of the boulevard will be cleared.

As this developed, the rehabilitation of Zamboanga City themed “Build Back Better” is now entering the early recovery phase as a number of evacuees at the grandstand voluntarily transferred last week to the newly constructed bunkhouses in Tulungatung.

Aside from temporary but comfortable and safe shelters, the evacuees have also been engaged in “work for food” program by the United Nations World Food Programme and the City Agriculturist Office.

Under the program that started last November, about 10,000 families were hired for work like cleaning up the shorelines of debris, mangrove planting and environment cleanup in exchange for one sack of rice per family after a week’s work.

The program will run until next month, thus giving the internally displaced persons (IDPs) food provisions for three months.- —Vic Larato