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8 years after siege, dozens of Zamboanga City families still waiting for homes

Roel Pareño - Philstar.com
8 years after siege, dozens of Zamboanga City families still waiting for homes
This undated photo shows the city hall of Zamboanga City.
Zamboanga City Facebook page

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Dozens of families displaced by the 2013 siege of Zamboanga City remain homeless on the eighth year since an attempt by a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front to establish a so-called republic in the city.

The city government said some families have yet to move into permanent shelters because of delays in the completion of the rehabilitation and housing projects of the National Housing Authority to facilitate the return of more than 100,000 displaced residents.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, through her spokesman Kenneth Beldoa, said the city is still running two transitory sites where 27 families have been living for eight years.

Beldoa said the closure of the transitory sites will depend on the completion of the last phase of the housing project of the NHA.

"We would like to remind people that these projects are under the supervision of the NHA. And just like the other projects implemented by the government there are legal issues that the concerned agency is facing such as clearing of the illegal structures and the informal settlers," Beldoa said.

He said around 720 houses have yet to be built and said the process of acquiring the land for them has contributed to the delay.

He said the city government is constantly coordinating with the NHA for the return of the displaced families to the resettlement area.

The bloody siege started September 9, 2013 and lasted for 21 days.

The Aquino administration committed P3.89 billion for the rehabilitation program under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Rehabilitation (Z3R), which is focused on the barangays of Mariki, Rio Hondo, Sta. Barbara, Sta. Catalina and Kasanyangan. 

The five villages located near the city hall were almost flattened by the gun battle between the 500 MNLF forces under founding chairman Nur Misuari and government forces. 

The conflict left close to 200 people dead and 184 wounded. The fighting displaced over 100,000 residents.

NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY

ZAMBOANGA CITY

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