Duterte tasks MinDA to lead Jolo rebuilding
Photo courtesy of Sultan Kiram

Davao City - President Rody Duterte has directed the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) to tap "all government agencies" and lead the effort to rebuild the lives of over 1,500 Tausug families whose homes were razed by a fire on Feb. 3.

Shortly after the 46th Cabinet Meeting in Malacanang on Tuesday, MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol informed the President of the dire situation of the fire victims who now stay in several makeshift areas, including a government gymnasium.

A total of 1,572 families from Barangay Chinese Pier, Takut Takut and Tulay lost their homes in a fire which broke out 9AM of February 3.

"The fire victims are either staying with relatives or in the two evacuation centers in Jolo town proper, the Santanina Sports Complex and Hadji Hassiman Elementary School," Piñol said.

Piñol said he learned from Sultan Kiram who texted him Tuesday (February 4) that the most critical need of the fire victims would be housing in a relocation area.

The President directed Piñol to link up with other agencies of government like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

MinDA will also engage the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for construction materials needed to rebuild the homes of the fire victims.

"I will talk to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu so that confiscated wood products in the Zamboanga area can be immediately be sent to Jolo," Piñol said.

He said whole lumber can also be sent to Jolo and would be processed there.

Piñol said that the BARMM, through Ministry of Interior Secretary Naguib Sinarimbo, has already dispatched teams to Jolo to initially deliver relief goods needed by the victims.

"On Monday, Feb. 10, a team from MinDA will fly to Jolo to meet with local leaders headed by Gov. Sakur Tan and Sulu Sultan Maedzul-Lail Tan Kiram and to check on the condition of the fire victims," he added.

Piñol stressed that a timely assistance would not only help the victims but also in the efforts against violence in Sulu.

"President Duterte asked me to relay to the people of Jolo his concern for their welfare and directed MinDA to fast-track the delivery of timely interventions to the fire victims," Piñol further added.#
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