Singson assures sufficient funds for Zambo City rehab PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 December 2013 11:27

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson yesterday hinted that the sooner the affected communities will approve the plan, the sooner the proposed Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) can be implemented.

This, as Sec. Singson, who heads the Zamboanga Rehabilitation Team assured that the national government has sufficient funds to finance the Z3R. “Pag-isipan niyo kung kailan niyo gustong aprobahan para puede na nating pondohan. Kaya nga nagpupunta na kami dito, tapos na kami sa plano, if [the plan] accepted, we will present this to the president. Hindi ito panaginip, the funding is there, the plan we are presenting kayang pondohan kayang tulungan”.

Singson led the UP Planning and Development Research Foundation, Inc. (UP PLANADES) team in the conduct of the series of consultations with stakeholders Friday, December 13. The groups consulted were the government sector that included the local government unit, regional offices and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) members, barangay officials from the 9 affected barangays, internally displaced persons (IDP) representatives, community and religious leaders and leaders and representatives from the business, church, academe and non-government organizations.

Singson clarified that the Z3R is a work in progress and that the Rehabilitation Team is trying to get as much inputs as possible before it is finally presented to Malacanang for final approval and consequently, its implementation.

The plan’s overarching concept is “Build Back Better” with 3 objectives: improve the overall environment of the affected communities covering some 46 hectares, minimize adverse social impacts and relocation and improve public safety and security of the community.

And to clear the air, Singson declared that sea-based IDPs will be resettled in areas near the sea in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations specifically on environmental concerns.

“Kung nasa houses on stilts kayo we will bring you back to a community where there are houses on stilts. Huwag kayong makinig na dadalhin kayo sa bundok. Meron tayong mga patakaran na dapat sundin,  napakaingat na po tayo sa tidal actions—we have to be sensitive because of climate change,” Sec. Singson told barangay and IDP leaders during the 2pm consultation at the Badjao Room at the Garden Orchid hotel.

Under the schematic layout plan, the houses to be constructed in the affected area will be a combination of housing types that include row houses, duplex/loftable units, quadruplex units and houses on stilts. The southern portion of Sahaya Water village will be converted into a mangrove reforestation area and part of Ayer Village will be reverted to being a waterway.

The same plan calls for the removal of structures on hazardous areas, waterways and easements, focused improvement of road and drainage facilities, boardwalk bordering housing-on stilts and mangrove areas and the inclusion of Philippine Navy headquarters and outpost for security purposes.

From narrow passageways, road will be expanded, construction of boardwalks, schools, madrasahs, mosques and other infrastructures including community parks will be constructed.

Singson expressed elation that the series of consultations elicited positive inputs. The reason for the consultations is primarily to ensure that the plan will be feasible and acceptable to all stakeholders.

Initially, barangay officials and IDP leaders and representatives from Rio Hondo expressed agreement to the plan for their barangay.

Aside Sec. Singson and the UP PLANADES team, Mayor Beng Climaco and District I Congressman Celso Lobregat, designated consultant on rehabilitation. Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde also attended the first consultation with the government sector.

Other than the 3 consultations with various sectors, Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were also given a briefing on the Z3R at the Yakan room at 1pm yesterday where they also shared their inputs.

Mayor Climaco thanked Sec. Singson for his assistance and for guiding the city in its rehabilitation effort. “We are also thankful to President Aquino who is bent on helping Zamboanga. Our aspiration is to build back a better community and better Zamboanga!” — Sheila Covarrubias