Rama wants City to give aid to Zambo-A A +A
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama said he wants to send financial assistance to Zamboanga City.
He has directed the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRRMC) to make an accounting of what’s left in the calamity fund to determine how much the City can give to Zamboanga.
Alvin Santillana, operations officer of CCDRRMC, said about P200 million still remains because the Cebu City Council failed to approve the utilization report of the calamity fund.
Santillana refused to give a recommendation on how much should be given to Zamboanga Ctiy.
Rama felt for Zamboanga after reading that over 10,000 houses have been razed when Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels attacked and took over Zamboanga City.
“Tabangan ni nato. Dili mahimo nga mopiyong lang ta ani. Maguol naman gani ta’g 12 houses lang masunog. Unsa na kaha ni, 10,000 houses (Let’s help. We can’t just close our eyes to this. We feel bad when 12 houses are razed. How much more if it’s 10,000),” said Rama.
Rama also asked the cooperation of the Cebu City Council because financial assistance from the City Government to other local government units (LGUs) will need a Council resolution.
Another requirement is for the LGU-recipient to be declared under a state of calamity.
Rama doubts if there will be a hindrance in the declaration of state of calamity in Zamboanga City because of the situation.
When asked if he would also send CCDRRMC people to the area, Rama said there will be none for security reasons.
According to reports, 102 rebels, and 14 soldiers and policemen and 12 civilians had been killed in the two-week conflict.
This, as Rep. Dulce Ann Hofer (Zamboanga Sibugay, 2nd district) said children who were taken hostage by the rebels are experiencing trauma.
Hofer said Zamboanga City is two hours away from Zamboanga Sibugay and is one of the areas where Sibugaynons do business and study.
Hofer said 21 students aged 17 to 19 years old from Sibugay and studying at the School of Fisheries in Sta. Catalina were taken hostage by the rebels. They were released a week after.
Two of them suffered gunshots wounds but are now safe in Sibugay, she said.
More than 1,000 residents from Sibugay are affected by the incident.
Hofer, who is originally from Argao, Cebu, was in Cebu yesterday for the Katilingbang Argawanon Awards at the Cebu Provincial Capitol.
She said they will look for psychologists to assist the students and other children who were victims of the incident.
“Ang among mga bata dili mamatay sa bala pero mamatay sa walay kaon (Our children will not die of gunshots but of hunger)”, she said.
Hofer said President Benigno Aquino III has mentioned that about P4 million from his
funds will be given to Zamboanga.
Last Friday, four leaders of a faction of MNLF were charged with rebellion and crimes against International Humanitarian Law under Republic Act 9851.
Twenty-five other rebels who were captured were also charged.
Hofer said it will probably take five years for the city to recover from the incident.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 24, 2013.