Aquino approves Zambo rehab plan

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III approved on Sunday the proposed Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R), the rehabilitation plan intended to build back a better Zamboanga following the destruction brought about by the 20-day standoff last September.

The approval came after Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson briefed the President about the Z3R upon his arrival in Zamboanga City.

The Z3R was prepared by the UP Planning and Development Research Foundation Inc. (UP Planades), the group that government has commissioned to draft the rehabilitation and recovery plan.

Singson explained to Aquino that the Z3R's overarching concept is "Build Back Better" with three objectives: improve the overall environment of the affected communities covering some 46 hectares; minimize adverse social impacts and relocation; and improve public safety and security of the community.

Hundreds of families were displaced when a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) infiltrated Zamboanga City in September. A number of the affected are still staying in evacuation centers in the city.

Zamboanga City evacuees applaud President Noynoy Aquino
ZAMBOANGA. The evacuees applause when President Benigno Aquino III assures them of a better place to live as rehabilitation efforts are underway. Aquino was in Zamboanga City Sunday. (Bong Garcia)

Also on Sunday, President Aquino allocated P3.5 billion for the implementation of the Z3R, and ordered the concerned government agencies to ensure the swift implementation of the rehabilitation plan.

National Housing Authority General Manager Chito Cruz said the construction of permanent houses will take about six to 18 months to complete.

Singson has committed to complete the construction of road networks and drainage system from six months to one year.

"The residents of Zamboanga can expect that despite the numerous challenges besetting our country at present, the government will not be remiss in its responsibility to attend to your needs," President Aquino told the evacuees at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex.

The President inspected the 10 bunkhouses built inside the sports complex funded by the National Government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman reported to the President that nine of the bunkhouses were built by the Army's 52nd Engineering Brigade and the other one by the International Organization for Migration.

Soliman said each of the bunkhouses has 12 rooms that can accommodate 36 families, "including the extended families."

Meanwhile, Aquino ordered Singson and Cruz to complete the projects within the timeframe, or if possible, ahead of the set timeline.

The President, during his visit in the city, was accompanied by rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Energy Secretary Carlos Petilla, and Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, aside from Singson, Soliman, and Cruz.

They flew in around noon from Compostela Valley province where the President visited the victims of Typhoon Pablo. From Zamboanga City, they proceeded shortly before 3 p.m. to Tacloban City to visit the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

Local news

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