Pnoy approves Z3R; orders swift implementation of plan PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 December 2013 11:36

President Aquino yesterday approved the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R), the rehabilitation plan that is intended to build back a better Zamboanga following the massive destruction wrought by the 23-day armed conflict last September.

The president, who visited Zamboanga City yesterday, likewise approved the over P3 billion funding for the Z3R and ordered the agencies concerned to ensure the swift implementation of the rehabilitation plan.

“Makakaasa po ang mga taga Zamboanga, sa kabila ng patung-patong na suliranin na hinaharap ng ating bayan sa kasalukuyan, hindi po nakakaligtaan ng gobyerno ang inyong kapakanan at mga pangangailangan, (Zamboanga residents can expect that despite the numerous challenges besetting our country at present, the government will not be remiss in its responsibility to attend to your needs), the president told the crowd in an address at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex.

The president arrived in Zamboanga City past 12 noon yesterday from Compostela Valley. Together with Cabinet Secretaries Voltaire Gazmin of National Defense, Dinky Soliman of Social Welfare, Carlos Petilla of the Department of Energy, Rene Almendras (Secretary to the Cabinet), Panfilo Lacson (Tacloban rehabilization czar), Rogelio Singson of Public Works and Highways and National Housing Authority General Manager Chito Cruz, the president immediately met with local officials and representatives from the multi-sectoral groups led by Mayor Beng Climaco at the EAAB arrival area for a briefing on the Z3R.

During the briefing, the president was presented with resolutions of the City Council and the Darul-Ifta and other sectors approving the Z3R plan, based on the consultations held December 13 in Zamboanga City.

Sec. Singson, who heads the Zamboanga Rehabilitation Team, comprehensively discussed the Z3R plan which the DPWH, UP PLANADES team and the local rehabilitation team coordinating structure painstakingly conceptualized.

He explained to the president that 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.

Based on estimates of the National Housing Authority represented  by general manager Cruz, the construction of the permanent houses will take about 6 to 18 months to complete. The DPWH, through Singson also committed to complete the construction of roads and drainage system in 6 months to a year.

President Aquino directed Singson and Cruz to finish the projects within the time frame or if possible, ahead of the timeline set.

On the other hand, the president said, the national government will see to it that the Z3R will be fully realized but stressed that it will require the support and cooperation of the local government, the families affected and all sectors concerned. “Walang sinasayang na oras ang gobyerno para tugunan ang inyong mga pangangailangan.”

Meanwhile, Sec. Soliman in her report to the president said the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex, the biggest evacuation center, now houses 2,733 families or a total of 11,903 individuals from the previous 5,350 families with 25,304 individuals.

The grandstand has 10 bunkhouses, 9 of which were constructed by the Philippine Army’s 52nd Engineering Brigade with funds coming from the DSWD and one funded by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Each bunkhouse has 12 rooms and can accommodate a total of 36 families.

After the closed door briefing at the EAAB, the president proceeded to the JEMSC or grandstand to inspect the bunkhouses and to address the crowd composed of the internally displaced persons (IDPs).

From Zamboanga City, the president and his cabinet secretaries left for Tacloban City to also look into the situation of victims of super typhoon Yolanda. — Sheila Covarrubias