Sea-based IDPs will go back to areas near the sea- Singson PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 December 2013 11:31

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson has declared that sea-based internally displaced persons (IDPs) will be resettled in areas near the sea and not in distant barangays where they cannot engage in fishing and other livelihood sea-based activities.

“Kung nasa houses on stilts kayo we will bring you back to a community where there are houses on stilts. Huwag kayong makinig [sa iba] na dadalhin kayo sa bundok,” Sec. Singson told IDP leaders and representatives attending one of the series of consultations held in the city last Friday.

The DPWH Secretary, who heads the Zamboanga Rehabilitation Team, said the proposed Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) is planned in such a way that it will be feasible and acceptable to all concerned.

Incorporating the Build Back Better theme, the proposed Z3R’s objectives are to 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.

He emphasized that the plan will likewise adhere to existing laws, rules and regulations concerning natural hazards and environmental concerns taking cue from the destructions wrought by typhoon Yolanda in Luzon where coastal areas were damaged due to storm surge.

“Meron tayong mga patakaran nassure dapat sundin,  napakaingat na po tayo sa tidal actions—we have to be sensitive because of climate change,” the secretary said.

Mayor Beng Climaco who met with the Sama Dilaut group in one of her series of dialogues with IDPs recently also stressed that the Samals, known as sea gypsies, will be resettled in areas near the sea.

She said the government understands that due to cultural and historical sensibilities, sea people cannot be resettled in areas far from the sea.

Reports say that some groups are feeding the IDPs inaccurate information that in sometimes cause unrest and anxiety in evacuation centers. —Sheila Covarrubias