THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will transfer all the remaining survivors of the armed conflict in Zamboanga to safer homes before Christmas.
“We are targeting that all families will be transferred to transitional shelters by yearend with the 2,304 remaining families in the Grandstand to be moved to safer homes by December 15,” Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said in a press conference.
Soliman together with Mayor Beng Climaco and Office of Civil Defense Undersecretary Alex Pama visited the transitional sites and interacted with the families.
“Nasa ligtas na bahay na po kami [We are now in a safe house],” exulted Rogelio Olbido, 72, who was transferred to Buggoc Transitory Site. He has four children.
“Masaya na ang buhay namin dito sa Martha permanent shelter [We are happy here at Martha permanent shelter],” said Teresa Maru, 33, a mother of two.
This was echoed by Lilia Fuentebella, 74, also residing at Martha Permanent Shelter.
“Salamat sa pabahay na tulong ng gobyerno. Nabago po buhay namin (Thanks to the housing provided by the government, our lives have changed),” said Lilia Fuentebella, 74, another resident.
Soliman also reported that the Cawa-Cawa Boulevard is already free of family-evacuees as of September 5.
She said that the family-evacuees at the Cawa-Cawa Boulevard were among the 1,906 families or 10,402 evacuees from evacuation centers who were already transferred to transitional shelters.
These transitional shelters are located in the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex (JFEMSC), Tulungatung, Taluksangay, Rio Hondo, Philippine Tuberculosis Society Inc. in Upper Calarian, Mampang, Sta. Catalina (Silsilah, Paniran), Buggoc and Martha Permanent Resettlement site.
One year after this city suffered from the loss of lives, property, and the displacement of families as a result of the armed conflict between the military and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)-Misuari faction, the displaced families are well on their way to recovery.
Meanwhile, to support the households start their own livelihood businesses, the DSWD provided P9.7 million capital seed fund to some 970 families at P10,000 each.
From September to October this year, the DSWD and the local government unit will be conducting a series of entrepreneurial activities for the families at the transitional sites.
These include hand-sewing of baby items, vocational training of persons with disabilities, and nail care seminar, among others.
Parent Education Congress will also be held to coincide with the Family Week celebration this month, as well as Children’s Congress in October, and Family Development Sessions (FDS).
DSWD will also continue to implement Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) in the sites to ensure the nutritional well-being of the children.
To date, a total of P363.9 million has been provided to the displaced families from the combined resources of the DSWD and partner-local and international organizations.
The assistance include food packs; non-food items, such as mats, malong and hygiene kits; Cash and Food for Work; financial; educational; house rental for 18 families; transportation allowance for those who availed of the Balik-Probinsya and Balik Barangay programs, shelter assistance and construction of transitional shelters.