News Release

President Duterte distributes aid to fire victims in Zamboanga City

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte leads the ceremonial distribution of relief goods for the fire-affected families at the Ramon Enriquez High School in Labuan, Zamboanga City on July 26, 2018. Also in the photo are Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco Salazar and Sec. Bong Go of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

ZAMBOANGA CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the distribution Thursday of relief assistance to the survivors of a blaze here, promising them to rebuild their houses soon.

At least 403 families in Barangay Labuan were affected by fire last July 22, with the city’s fire bureau putting the total damage at P4 million.

President Duterte ordered that each family be given P15,000 financial assistance.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also gave P5,000 while another P1,500 came from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and P1,500 from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The city government has so far provided food assistance and also put up a community kitchen for the fire survivors.

Aside from cash support, the DSWD also provided food assistance, which is good for one week.

During his visit, the President promised the fire survivors to build them new houses as soon as the local government could identify new relocation site.

The mass housing project will be similar to theones being constructed in Marawi City.

He said he would instruct the government’s housing czar Eduardo del Rosario to go to Zamboanga City this week to assess the situation and craft plan on how to rebuild the shelters for fire survivors.

“Hintayin ninyo si Del Rosario. I will give you the houses,” Duterte said.

To boost economic activity, the Chief Executive reiterated the idea of restarting barter trade in the region.

He stressed that improving the local economy could enhance regional peace and security.

“Kaya kung ako ang maglagay ng barter trade, sundin lang ninyo kung ano ‘yung patakaran ng gobyerno, wala na kayong problema kailanman. Ganun lang ‘yan eh,” he said.

“Noong pre-Spanish time, barter trade was going on. During the Spanish time, American, hanggang nasarahan ni Marcos. Gusto kong buksan. Gusto ko kayong bigyan ng opportunity na mabuhay,” he added. ###PND