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[PHILIPPINES] One year after siege, 40,000 refugees remain homeless in Zamboanga

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  • [PHILIPPINES] One year after siege, 40,000 refugees remain homeless in Zamboanga

    A year ago, people in Zamboanga, Philippines were shocked when the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) tried to take over their city. In retaliation and to protect the citizens, the military faced the rebels in what became a siege. Communities were burned by rebels, while many infrastructures were damaged by bullets from both sides. According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD):

    The prolonged fighting affected 23,794 families or 118,819 people in 14 villages including Arena Blanco, Cabatangan, Calarian, Canelar, Kasanyangan, Mampang, Mariki, Rio Hondo, San Roque, Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina, Talon-Talon and Zone IV, with massive destruction in eight of 14 villages. The 20-day siege destroyed 10,160 houses, also creating an economic standstill in Zamboanga City.


    I work for the agency handling the construction of permanent houses for these refugees. I confess that the process has been slow because of technical difficulties such as acquisition of land and downloading of funds. The people affected must realize that the government, well, at least our agency, is doing our best to expedite the construction of their new homes, so they can leave the evacuation centers. Soon, all houses will be turned-over, and they can then start better lives.



    A year after the bloody siege in Zamboanga City, the fighting may have stopped but the daily battles of its displaced residents continue.

  • #2
    That's crazy. That must be a really hard situation to deal with. I would be at a loss at what to do. It's cool that you have assisted in helping build homes for these people. It must have been a terrifying situation for the normal people that lived there in the city. I know it's a tired saying but why can't we all just get along. Tings like this show how terrible some people are regarding other humans. Evacuation centers are no way to live a life. I'm sure they will be very happy to get out of there and back to a normal life.

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    • #3
      It is too slow that the refugees remain homeless and is still staying at the evacuation centers one year after the incident. I hope that the resettlement is doing well and the refugees resume to their normal life as soon as possible.

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      • #4
        I wish they could move that along much faster. Obviously I do not know much about the situation to be able to understand what is taking so long. I would expect that those who are homeless and waiting for housing to be rebuilt would be able to contribute general labor toward getting the projects done, but then I don't know how they do things over there.

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        • #5
          In order to finish the project fast, they need more volunteers in helping build those houses for the victims. In times like that, they need to work hand-in-hand to lessen their sufferings not just from the siege but from their situation as a homeless. The government, national or local, together with the NGOs must start to work with each other and maybe to think one goal, a goal that will help those homeless people to start to live again with a new hope and dreams.

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          • #6
            And who should be blamed for this? The MILF, ASG and BIFF insurgent groups have all contributed to this displacement. Until those groups are eradicated if not disciplined, there won't be lasting peace in Mindana. I still lobby for Islam peace education but it seems many lawmakers have turned a deaf ear.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by xTinx View Post
              And who should be blamed for this? The MILF, ASG and BIFF insurgent groups have all contributed to this displacement. Until those groups are eradicated if not disciplined, there won't be lasting peace in Mindana. I still lobby for Islam peace education but it seems many lawmakers have turned a deaf ear.

              Why hasn't anything been done? Because it cost money to get anything done, and the philippine government won't pay for it. That's why. It's just like when Typhoon Haiyan ripped through leyte. It's still in shambles because the federal government wont pay for it or is saying its a job for local government to take care of. Everything in the Philippines is finger pointing and throwing responsibility onto someone else's plate. No one take action unless they lose face over it.

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