Mayor appeals for obedience to guidelines, policies-A A +A
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
MAYOR Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has appealed to residents in Zamboanga City to abide by the guidelines and policies set by the authorities, stressing they were crafted for their own safety.
Salazar made the appeal as she spearheaded Tuesday a consultation-dialogue with residents of Barangay Sta. Catalina and the neighboring villages to clarify matters concerning ongoing clearing operations and rehabilitation efforts.
Salazar, who chairs the Crisis Management Committee (CMC), answered queries during the consultation fielded by the residents headed by Sta. Catalina village chief Belman Malandi.
She was accompanied by Army 102nd Brigade Commander Colonel Ignacio Obligacion and City Planning and Development Coordinator Engr. Rodrigo Sicat and some other officials during the consultation-dialogue.
Among the clarifications sought were the completion of clearing operations, when the residents can return, rehabilitation plans, and the safety and protection of the residents' properties, among others.
The village of Sta. Catalina remains under clearing operations following the 23-day standoff that started last September 9 when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels infiltrated Zamboanga City.
The residents have been prohibited from entering the area while the clearing operations are still ongoing.
Salazar also called on the residents to be thankful for all the efforts exerted by the military and the police who defended the city from the malefactors and who are in charge of the subsequent clearing operations.
Sicat said the preliminaries for the rehabilitation of the affected residents are well on their way, with the listing and assessment done by the Land Housing and Management Division under Rodrigo Pagotaisidro.
Sicat clarified that the P3.8-billion funding allocated by President Benigno Aquino III for the rehabilitation of the city will not pass through the local government but through national agencies such as the Department of Social welfare and Development, Department of Public Works and Highways, and the National Food Authority.
He said the role of the city is to prepare the preliminaries, to include the identification of sites for the construction of temporary shelters for the victims, particularly those whose houses were burned and or destroyed at the height of the conflict.
Obligacion has allayed people's apprehensions that the authorities are giving them a run-around when it comes to requests for them to briefly check on their belongings back home.
He said proper procedures are being followed and that he cannot, at his level, decide on whether to allow residents to check on their houses, as clearance has to be secured from those in charge of the clearing operations and the CMC in general.
Nevertheless, Salazar has suggested that the ground troops, with clearance from concerned authorities, allow residents to take a brief look at their properties, by batches. (Bong Garcia)