Gov't races to shelter Zambo refugees

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2014 02:23 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2014 10:23 PM

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MANILA - The government is building a hundred transitional shelters for evacuees who fled their homes during last September's Zamboanga siege.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman made this assurance following reports the number of deaths in Zamboanga City's evacuation centers is rising.

About 5,000 families still remain in evacuation centers, with the bulk of them occupying the Joaquin Memorial Stadium.

"We are also working with the city government. They have identified a place in Talon-Talon to build transitional shelters on water so we can move the Sama Badjaos who are in Kawa-Kawa Boulevard into the shelters," she said.

"The building is ongoing right now. Our Sama Badjao kababayans do not want to live in provisional shelters that is not near the sea," she added.

Soliman said they are taking steps to improve sanitation at evacuation centers and providing livelihood for the evacuees.

"My assistant secretary is actually there looking at the management of the camp and we are beefing up our personnel and we'll do cash-for-work for maintaining cleanliness of the place. We're doing livelihood there but we are going to increase so that people will not be concerned about their daily needs," she said.