MANILA – Department of Social Welfare and Development Sec. Dinky Soliman said new homes for families affected by the Zamboanga standoff will begin construction on October.
Soliman said construction for the first batch of around 150 to 200 homes may start as early as October 5.
“We have been working with the city government, with Mayor Beng Climaco, in identifying sites for temporary and/or permanent shelters that we are going to build with government money for those whose houses were burned or displaced. The first groundbreaking will be done in October 5 in Barangay Taluksangay,” she told ANC’s “News Now” on Saturday.
Soliman said the government will continue to provide the displaced families staying in evacuation centers with food, clothing and shelter as well as stress debriefing programs.
She said the families are not yet allowed to return to their homes as clearing operations are still ongoing.
Soliman said the operations may last until the end of October.
“The Phase 2 clearing will have to be done, meaning house to house, and police just making sure there are no booby traps, bombs or bodies that are left,” she said.
She added that a number of families whose homes were not burned, particularly those in Mampang and Arena Blanco, will be allowed to return to their homes.
On Saturday, authorities said the 20-day siege is over. About 200 people, including 166 rebels, have been killed and more than 100,000 residents of Zamboanga were displaced.