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DSWD, DOH spearhead meeting over sanitation measures in evacuation centers

In order to prevent the outbreak of diseases and other health problems inside the evacuation centers, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Health (DOH) met with the City Government of Zamboanga and the members of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster and the Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster, and discussed the sanitation and hygiene requirements of the affected persons staying in the evacuation centers especially in JFE Sports Complex.

Additional common latrines will be constructed while the clogged and broken toilets will be fixed and replaced. These will provide the evacuees with the basic sanitation services they needed in the center. “Latrines should be accessible to all people especially women and other vulnerable groups. It should also offer them security and privacy especially for women,” DSWD Assistant Secretary Camilo G. Gudmalin explained.

Moreover, hand washing and bathing facilities will be installed in strategic areas in the evacuation center while, six (6) more water bladders will be set up to increase the water supply not only for drinking but also for cleaning purposes.

Assistant Secretary Gudmalin noted that these will help encourage evacuees, especially children to wash their hands before every meal, as well as, providing them with potable drinking water. “Evacuees and their children should wash their hands with soap and water frequently to reduce the spread of diseases,” he continued.

The construction and enhancement of these facilities will be implemented through the collaboration of the DSWD, DOH, the City Government of Zamboanga, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“Improving the water, sanitation and hygiene facilities is one way of preventing the outbreak of diseases, but hygiene promotion is also equally important,” Assistant Secretary Gudmalin explained. Likewise, the DSWD will integrate hygiene promotion in the Family Development Sessions (FDS) where small groups of displaced families are being gathered and taught of various topics such as effective parenting, family relationships, etc.  Through the FDS, DSWD Pantawid Pamilya Municipal Links will teach them on proper sanitation and cleanliness which include personal hygiene, food hygiene, proper garbage disposal, and environmental sanitation to maintain the cleanliness in the evacuation center.

He added that close living quarters such evacuation centers increase the amount of contact between people, and toilet facilities are being shared which may spread illnesses to other residents as well as with DSWD staff. “In this case, we need to educate them on sanitation and hygiene for their own good. We also encourage the evacuees to maintain the cleanliness of their living areas in the evacuation centers as a preventive measure against illnesses that are common in evacuation centers,” he said.

The hygiene and sanitation needs in the JFE Sports Complex will be addressed first due to the number of evacuees staying in the said evacuation center. However, hygiene and sanitation interventions for the other evacuation centers will immediately follow. Earlier, the DSWD has already distributed hygiene kits containing soap, detergent, towel and a pail to evacuees in the center. ###

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DSWD to earmark P3.9B for Zambo rehabilitation

Zamboanga City, September 22 — Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman today announced that the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)will earmark a total of P3.9B for the early recovery and rehabilitation of those families affected by the ruthless Moro National Liberation Front-led crisis in Zamboanga City.

Secretary Soliman, who is on her 12th day stint in Zambanga City to oversee the continuing relief operations of the Department, emphasized that rehabilitation efforts are now being planned out by the DSWD in coordination with the Crisis Management Committee headed by Zamboanga City Mayor BengClimaco.

According to Secretary Soliman, the rehabilitation efforts will immediately commence once the city government of Zamboanga identifies the areas. “This is a huge challenge to us but the government is making sure that the early recovery and rehabilitation efforts are well organized and systematized,” she added.

“We will make sure that we will build back better communities for the affected families,” Secretary Soliman emphasized.

The rehabilitation plan for the victims of armed conflict in Zamboanga includes the continuing relief assistance for one month, balik-probinsiya program by providing the evacuees with transportation and incidental assistance, educational assistance to college students, supplementary feeding for children, cash-for-work program, construction of temporary and permanent shelters, and livelihood assistance.

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Lactating social worker breastfeeds babies in evacuation center in Zamboanga City

Social worker Evalinda Jimeno of Zamboanga Sibugay earned  the admiration of thousands of evacuees at the Joaquin F. Enriquez, Jr. Sports Complex or grandstand in Zamboanga City when she offered herself to breastfeed hungry babies in between her task of registering  evacuees for the family access card.
Jimeno is a lactating mother who chose to share her breastmilk to babies in dire need of milk. In front of evacuees, she willingly took one baby at a time and breastfed them, without  any inhibitions.
Jimeno said that although the Department has enough supply of milk for children 0-6 years old she emphasized that “ breastmilk is still the best, so mothers must be encouraged to continue breastfeeding.”
“I hope that my simple act of breastfeeding will make them realize that babies need a mother’s milk,” Jimeno further said.  Jimeno shared that she breastfed all her children including the youngest who is six months old.
“As social workers, we should continue to explore all possible interventions to cater to the needs of clients especially during critical times, such as this,” Jimeno said.  Jimeno was referring to the on-going clash between  government troops and the Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari faction.
Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman agreed with Jimeno on the importance of giving breastmilk to infants.
“We set-up a Women Friendly Space  at the evacuation center where mothers can breastfeed their babies. We also continue to provide feeding to lactating mothers to help them produce their own milk,” Secretary Soliman added.
Secretary Soliman said that there are presently 22 lactating mothers at the grandstand evacuation center. ### (DSWD-Social Marketing Service) September 21, 2013.

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Total number of evacuees remains the same – DSWD

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman yesterday reported that the total number of affected families remains at 118,819 persons or 23,794 families as most part of city outside the conflict area is starting to go back to normalcy.

In a press conference held yesterday at the Sangguniang Panglunsod in Zamboanga City, Secretary Soliman further reported that there are 20,643 families or 111,162 persons inside the 57 evacuation centers, while there are 11,979 families or 71,265 persons occupying at the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex or grandstand.

“We have enough food for the evacuees. DSWD is providing 105,458 cooked meals daily complemented by Philippine Red Cross 10,000 pack meals, and City Government 12,500 family food packs with cooking kitchen utilities to evacuees at Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex,” Secretary Soliman assured.

Other evacuation centers are served with either cooked food or family food packs.

Secretary Soliman stressed that DSWD is strictly allowing only those evacuees with access cards to enter the evacuation centers, to make sure that everyone is being served and secured as well.

“We are closely coordinating and working for community-based and home-based relief assistance through barangay officials and Zamboanga City government to ensure that everyone is served. We are also assisted by the police for the security and safety of evacuees,” Secretary Soliman added.

As of press time, the DSWD allocated a total of P62 million worth of relief assistance. This already includes cash allocations and food and non-food items shipped from DSWD NROC, Regions 7, 10, 11, 12, and CARAGA since day one of the crisis. In addition, the local government unit, and Non-Government Organizations provide relief assistance to the evacuees.

The DSWD likewise released an amount of P35M today for the continuing relief assistance for the evacuees in Zamboanga City.

Food Assistance

Analiza Jul, 30, a resident of Sta. Catalina, expressed her contentment over the government’s services. Her family with five (5) kids left their home in fear of being caught in the crossfire.

“Masaya ako ngayon na ligtas at maayos na nakakakain ang mga anak ko ng tatlong beses isang araw dito sa grandstand (I am happy that my children are safe and are nourished three times a day here at grandstand),” Jul shared.

Jul, who is staying at the grandstand, said she was pleased when DSWD started rationing pandesal for breakfast. Her children have been asking her for bread but there was no store open even if she has the money to buy.

She added that her children are also attending the supervised neighborhood play (SNP) sessions being held at the temporary day care center.  Supplementary feeding is also conducted at the center to ensure that kids are receiving proper nutrition aside from the regular cooked meals provided to them.

Cash for work

The DSWD has released payment for the initial 150 Cash-for-Work grantees. Among the recipients were Omar Hasan and Totoh Sakandal from Barangay Sta. Catalina.

Omar Hasan, who received P450 for his three (3) days of work, said, “Pambili ko ito ng gatas para sa anak ko (I will buy milk for my children with this).” Omar and his wife and three children with her wife left their home in Sta. Catalina on the fifth day of the crisis to keep their children out of harm’s way.

Totoh, also of Sta. Catalina said, “Nagpapasalamat po talaga ako na nasali ako sa Cash-For-Work” at may natanggap ako ngayon na para ipambili ng ibang kakailanganin (I’m really thankful I was included in the cash-for-work program. I can now buy our other needs).”

Ms. Agapita Bendoy, DSWD social worker manning the community kitchen at the grandstand said that the cash-for-work grantees rendered 4-5 days of work.  They were given P210 per day, which is equivalent to 75 percent of the prevailing regional daily wage to help out in the community kitchen.  According to Bendoy, women workers helped out in the cooking while the men were tasked in the washing of kitchen utensils, cooking, transporting of goods and cleaning the area.

Prayer Tents for Muslim brothers/sisters

Prayer tents were set-up at the grandstand evacuation center to cater to the spiritual needs of the Islam believers/moslem followers among the evacuees.

Salaman Imlana, who frequents the place for his daily prayers said that about 100-150 Muslim evacuees gather at the said tent during prayer time which is every 5 am, 12 noon, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 7 pm.

“Nagpapasalamat ako na nagtatag tayo ng ganitong lugar dito sa evacuation center (I am thankful that they have provided this place in the evacuation center),” Imlana concluded. ### (21 September 2013) Social Marketing Service.

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Update on Armed Conflict

Supplementary Feeding is done at the temporary Day Care center. Sept. 18, 2013

Prayer tents for our muslim brothers and sisters.  Sept. 17, 2013prayer tent

Story-telling time for the day care kids at the JFE Evac camp. Sept. 16, 2013


The Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) ensures continuous supply of water for evacuees at

JFE Sports Complex. Sept. 15, 2013


President Pnoy visits the thousands of evacuees in Joaquin Enriquez Sports Complex in Zamboanga City. Sept. 14, 2013


Women-evacuees assisting in the community kitchen under the Cash for Work program. sept.13, 2013


Sec. Dinky, Sec. Mar Roxas and Mayor Beng address the thousands of evacuees at the grandstand. Assured them of continuous supply of food and provision of other basic needs like mats and tents (09/12/13)


Staff from DSWD neighboring regions (X,XI, Caraga) helps out in the installation of the tents for the evacuees

dswd staff

Kids playing “Luksong Tinik” at the Special Day Care while awaiting for their session…

kids playing

DSWD Sec. Dinky and DILG Sec. Mar Roxas talk to a family-evacuee during their monitoring visit at the grandstand

mar roxas

Sec. Dinky talks to a young mother assuring her of more tents for infants, older persons and senior citizens..


Continuous provision of meals and family packs to Samal and Badjao families who preferred to camp along the shores of Cawa-cawa across the main evac center. Badjaos are traditionally known to be ‘boat dwellers’ and are popularly known as ‘sea gypsies

sea gypsies



















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DSWD taps local food providers to augment daily meals to evacuees

To ensure regular provision of food to more or less 50,000 evacuees inside the Joaquin F. Enriquez Sports Complex or Grandstand in Zamboanga City, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) tapped local catering groups and food service providers to augment and ensure continuous provision for the daily meal requirements of the evacuees.  This is in addition to the food provided by the community kitchens established by the City Government.


On Sunday, DSWD, through Chinitos, Whoopee Burger House, Sunflower Food Center, and small canteens, has provided 16,500 packed meals for lunch and dinner with a total cost of P825,000.


Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, who is still in Zamboanga City to oversee the relief operations to victims of the more than one-week armed conflict between the government forces and MNLF-Misuari group, instructed the DSWD Field Office IX for the continuous procurement of these ready-to-eat foods to ensure the timely and orderly provision of meals to the evacuees with the elderly, children, and pregnant women as priorities.


Starting today, DSWD will provide 80,000 packed foods to the evacuees in the Grandstand to be delivered by the mentioned food providers (40,000 for lunch and another 40,000 for dinner). The City government is also providing 12,000 packed foods per mealtime while the International Committee of the Red Cross committed to shoulder another 10,000 for dinner.


Breakfast today was prepared by the established community kitchens where 24 sacks of rice and 20 cases of corned beef were consumed

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Update on Zamboanga armed conflict


Due to the recently concluded security briefing with the concerned military and police officials, the following revisions to the advisory are being made to include the following:

1. Only government agencies offering frontline services will continue operations tomorrow.

2. We continue to urge business establishments selling basic necessities such as groceries, pharmacies, gasoline stations, reloading stations and the like, to be opened starting tomorrow except those in affected areas. We likewise appeal to business establishments to ensure that prices of commodities remain stable. The buying public is also advised not to resort to panic buying but purchase provisions enough for the day to prevent shortage of supplies.

3. We likewise reiterate that all schools, public or private, will remain closed today, September 11, 2013.

For emergencies and other concerns please contact our hotline numbers: 992-2385 or 992-3137 for the command center, 117 or 166 and 09063680749 for the City Police Office

Source: Office of the City Mayor

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Zamboanga Armed Conflict

We are accepting donations in goods or in kind. Please forward your donations to the Women’s Center fronting our Grandstand, Zamboanga City
As of September 10, 2013 -11:30 AMGrandstand -Families: 1, 400, Persons: 7, 000
Martha Drive-Families: 273, Persons: 1365
Divisoria (DPWH)-Families: Persons: 95 (students of Fisheries)
Lunzuran: Families: 100, Persons: 203
ICAS: Families: 126, Persons: 630
Mormons: Families: 6, Persons: 19
Mampang- Families: 257, Persons: 1,285
Sto. Nino, Putik- Families:10, Persons: 50
Zambowood- Families:13, Persons: 54

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