MANILA, Philippines – Five bunkhouses were given to displaced families in Barangay Taluksangay, Zamboanga City on Friday, December 20, as part of the government’s rehabilitation plan after the siege of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Misuari Faction on the city last September 2013.
The beneficiaries, whose houses were burned during the siege, transferred to their new homes on the same day and were given starter kits and food packs.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the 5 bunkhouses with 54 rooms were part of the 21 to be constructed in partnership with humanitarian group Habitat for Humanity. A total of 8 bunkhouses have been completed.
DSWD secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, who led the turnover ceremonies, said the bunkhouses were only temporary as President Benigno Aquino III has promised to provide better communities after the reconstruction of the affected areas.
“Hindi bahay ang mahirap gawin, ang kailangang pagtuunan ng pansin ay ang pagkakaisa natin kahit iba-iba ang ating kultura. Tayo ay isang komunidad, isang Zamboanga City at isang bansa,” Soliman said. (It is not difficult to construct houses, what we need to focus on is our unity amid our different cultures. We are one community, one Zamboanga City, one nation.)
Members of the MNLF Misuari faction attacked Zamboanga city on September 9 in opposition to the present peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a breakaway group of the MNLF.
The attack left more than 126,000 people displaced, around a hundred killed and millions worth in property damage. At least 4,691 families are still in evacuation centers and temporary shelters around the city at present.
Habitat for Humanity managing head Charlito Ayco, Zamboanga City mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, 2nd District representative Lilia Nuno and representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were among those who joined the turnover. – Rappler.com