Rehabilitation starts for city that saw 3-week siege

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After almost three weeks of fighting, the government has started the rehabilitation for the full recovery of the Zam-boanga City, a Malacañang official said on Friday.

In a press conference, Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that all concerned government agencies begin its effort to help the residents get back on their feet.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, he said, has allotted P99.5-million for “food assistance, non-food items, financial assistance, cash-for-work in the operation of community kitchen, hygiene and sanitation, and meal distribution.”

”Personnel were deployed to assist the management of evacuation centers and warehouses, media coordination, and data information management operations. We’ve also established a computerized profiling of displaced families,” he added.


The Department of Health, meanwhile, has “established stress debriefing posts and medical clinics in evacuation centers.”

”We have also deployed personnel for the medical needs of those affected and operating rooms were established at the Western Mindanao State University,” Lacierda said.

The Department of Labor and Employment has also provided dental supplies, assorted supplies, medicines in evacuation centers, while, the Department of Education has started conducting psychosocial intervention for teachers and schoolchildren, he said.

According to Lacierda, the Department of Trade and Industry is also coordinating with private institutions to ensure the supply of basic goods.

”They continuously monitor prices of basic commodities, imposed suggested retail prices for different establishments,” he added.

The government security forces likewise have facilitated the airlift of emergency supplies and equipment, along with the Philippine Coast Guard, he said.

”The Philippine Navy is also accepting relief goods and construction materials for the rehabilitation of different barangay of Zamboanga City. The BRP Benguet will start loading relief goods and construction materials intended for Zamboanga City on October 1 at the Naval Base-Cavite, Sangley Point in Cavite City,” he added.

The government has also granted calamity loans to those affected through Home Development Mutual Fund, the Social Security System, and the Government Service Insurance System, according to Lacierda.

”We are doing all we can. All the agencies are exerting all their efforts to ensure the rehabilitation of Zamboanga City and like the phoenix it will rise from the ashes,” he added

Reports said that more than 100,000 residents were affected by the crisis. Most of them lost their homes to a series of fires during the fighting.

According to the Zamboanga City police, at least 18 soldiers were killed during the fighting and 167 were wounded, while five policemen were killed and 14 wounded.

It also said that 12 civilians died while 72 were wounded during the three-week siege affecting heavily populated coastal barangay near the city center.

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