Zamboanga City to build another transitory site for ‘bakwits’

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/27 June) – The local government is preparing plans for the construction of another transitory site to house the majority, if not all, of the remaining evacuees who are still staying at the evacuation centers inside the sports complex in this city.

Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, assistant city administrator who heads the temporary shelter cluster, said Friday the transitory site will be built in a 25-hectare property of Hernan Lim in Barangay Kasanyangan.

The transitory site will serve as shelter for families that were displaced when Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members loyal to founding chair Nur Misuari attacked some coastal barangays in the city in September 2013.

Apolinario said the Local Inter-agency Committee in a meeting Thursday afternoon passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar to lease the Lim property in Kasanyangan for the immediate construction of bunkhouses and other facilities.

He said Lim also owns the 38-hectare property in Kasanyangan, which is adjacent to the proposed transitory site, which the government has acquired for permanent shelters.

He said the proposed transitory site in Kasanyangan can also accommodate the evacuees who are still housed in schools aside from those at the evacuation centers in the sports complex.

The latest record of the city government showed 2,431 families or 13,020 individuals were still housed at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex and 273 families or 1,445 individuals were staying in three schools.

The proposed transitory site in Kasanyangan will be the seventh. Six other sites, which comprise of bunkhouses, are located at the sports complex and in Barangays Taluksangay, Upper Calarian, Tulungatung, Mampang and Rio Hondo.

The six transitory sites made up of bunkhouses hold 1,524 families consisting of 8,334 individuals based on the latest record of the local government.

In her recent visit here, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman promised funds for the construction of the seventh transitory site along with the International Organization for Migration which will construct the bunkhouses. (MindaNews)