An official of the Catholic Church in Zamboanga has bewailed what he felt was the slow rehabilitation of areas affected by the bloody siege by the Moro National Liberation Front of Nur Misuari in 2013.
According to the priest, about 35,000 persons were affected by the siege in Zamboanga and some of them are just living in the streets.
Further, the Zamboanga City health office reported that at least 65 evacuees have died in evacuation centers because of severe dehydration, common colds, asthma and hypertension.
Archdiocese of Zamboanga administrator Msgr. Chris Manongas said that the conditions of evacuees were less than the ideal, adding that the government’s rehabilitation effort is still at its lowest pace.
Manongas wondered why the government was still on a “survey mode,” despite the need to house thousands of victims of the Zamboanga siege.
“Nothing is moving on the ground except the bunkhouses that they are constructing in other places, but not on ground zero,” he disclosed.
Thus, he appealed the government to fast track its rehabilitation efforts, noting that some of the evacuees in Zamboanga have been suffering from different illnesses.
“We hope that the government will fasttrack our relocation and the rehabilitation of the displaced especially the ones in the sports complex and those who are staying in the boulevard, “ Manongas said.
Since September last year, the priest noted, there has been no significant improvement in Zamboanga despite the reported large budget for the rehabilitation work.