Zambo siege victims to receive cash aid from ICRC, PRC

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 17 December) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), has come up with a cash assistance program that would benefit some 5,000 families, including Badjaos, displaced by the standoff last September in this city.

Victor Liozo Jr., PRC-Zamboanga City Chapter administrator, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that the ICRC has allocated the amount of P33 million for the program.

He said that each member of the identified family-beneficiaries will receive P1,100, which means “the bigger the family the higher the amount they will receive.”

Liozo said the family-beneficiaries were identified through the assistance of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) as well as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that are attending to the displaced families.

He said that for a family to be entitled to receive the cash, they should be staying at the evacuation centers until now.

He said the cash assistance program is aimed to address the needs of the displaced families in evacuation centers, citing they may use the money to purchase food and other necessities.

Distribution of the cash assistance, Liozo said, will be made in batches starting Wednesday until Saturday at the Vitaliano Agan Coliseum.

He said they have tapped the assistance of the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) to distribute the money to the identified beneficiaries.

“We already conducted an orientation to them (the beneficiaries) and they were given a sort of a claim stub to present in claiming the money,” he said, citing that a scheduled has been set for each batch.