DSWD shifts to cash-for-work program for Zambo evacuees

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/22 December) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has shifted to cash-for-work program for the evacuees of the Zambo standoff to earn and stop from being dependent on aid provided by the government and other relief agencies.

Narabelle Bue, DSWD regional information officer, issued the pronouncement as she admitted that the agency had stopped providing food packs to the evacuees since December 9 as the funds for food assistance allocated by DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman “has been exhausted.”

Bue said the agency has separate funds for livelihood, which is in the form of cash-for-work program.

She said they have spent P278.5 million in providing the evacuees food, non-food items, financial and transportation assistance to include the construction of bunkhouses since the start of the siege last September 9.

Moro National Liberation Front members loyal to founding chair Nur Misuari carried out the siege.

So far, there are 300 evacuees staying at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex that are employed under the DSWD’s cash-for-work program, according to Bue.

She said they received cash ranging from P150 to P200 a day to maintain cleanliness and do other jobs at the sports complex.

Bue disclosed that there are still 14 evacuation centers that house 4,974 families comprising 24,974 individuals in this city.

She said the sports complex still serves as the biggest evacuation center since the facility houses more than half or 2,732 of the 4,974 family-evacuees consisting of 13,399 individuals. (MindaNews)