Zambo siege victims get housing aid

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/29 March)–-Thirty families displaced by last year’s deadly standoff here have initially received housing assistance worth P30,000.

The standoff started on September 9 when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members loyal to founding chair Nur Misuari laid siege at some coastal villages in the city.

The National Housing Authority (NHA), the city government’s Housing and Land Management Division Office (HLMDO) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) distributed Friday coupons for housing materials to families with land titles.

Rodrigo Pagotaisidro, HLMDO chief, said the ceremonial distribution was held at the barangay hall of Sta. Catalina, one of the affected barangays.

He said that 20 of the 30 family-beneficiaries are from Barangay Sta. Catalina while the rest are from Barangay Sta. Barbara.

The housing assistance includes cement, sand and gravel, lumber, galvanized iron sheets and nails, among others.

Pagotaisidro stressed that the housing assistance cannot be converted to cash.

The beneficiaries need to present the coupon to the supplier, Yuscom Construction Supply based in Barangay Canelar, for delivery to their housing sites.

Engr. Rodrigo Sicat, city planning and development officer, announced earlier that the Home Materials Assistance (HMA) is a program under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for internally displaced persons whose homes were gutted by fire during the September 2013 siege.

He said that the NHA has allocated P49.83 million for the HMA program.

Pagotaisidro said Friday’s distribution of housing materials was only ceremonial and the succeeding distribution will be done once the complete list of landowners is ready and verified.

Officials from the city and barangay governments, NHA and DPWH witnessed the distribution. (MindaNews)