Nat’l gov’t releases P2.6B to NHA to build shelters for Zambo siege ‘bakwits’

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 26 Feb) – Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has announced that the national government has already released P2.566 billion to the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the construction of permanent shelters of the families displaced by the September 2013 siege in this city.

The siege started September 9 when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels loyal to Nur Misuari infiltrated this city.

Salazar said the NHA will now be able to start the construction of shelters and other infrastructures in the affected areas following the build back better scheme of the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (ZR3) Plan with the release of the funds.

Salazar said that the types of housing units to be constructed in the affected areas shall conform to the cultures of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

She said the housing units include houses-on-stilts for sea-based areas in the barangays of Rio Hondo and Mariki, loftable two-story buildings and low-rise buildings for land-based areas.

She said that 26,076 individuals remain in nine evacuation centers that include the sports complex, R.T. Lim Boulevard, and four transitional sites.

NHA district manager Al Indanan confirmed that the funds are with them and “we already have allocated them for the different projects as planned.”

Indanan said that about P800 million of the P2.566 billion was allocated to the Department of Public Works and Highways for the construction of road networks, drainage systems and other related infrastructures.

Indanan said they are set to construct 1,152 units of two-story buildings, 1,189 duplex units and 3,241 houses-on-stilts worth P969.03 million in addition to substantial allocations for the purchase of the 38-hectare property to be developed for housing.

He said the amount of P49.83 million was allocated for home materials assistance to 1,661 families who opted to reconstruct their houses by themselves.

He said the home materials assistance will be ready for release to the beneficiaries on or before the end of March.

Indanan said a substantial number of housing units will be ready in six months.