In communities where there are repeated clashes between government security forces and armed groups, locals are sometimes left with little choice but to leave their properties and livelihoods behind. In line with our mandate to protect and support those affected by armed conflict, we implemented a cash-for-work program in Masbate and Zamboanga aimed at providing affected families with a temporary source of income.
Apart from the armed conflict, Masbate endured heavy damage to houses and communal facilities after the onslaught of Typhoon Nona in 2015. The typhoon also destroyed 60 percent of their cash crops (coconut) which comprise a significant part of their income.
The cash-for-work program gave 4,120 people from the municipalities of Monreal and San Jacinto a chance to earn income by repairing classrooms and water systems, and building foot bridges and flood canals.
In Zamboanga City, three years after the siege damaged houses and livelihoods, around 11,000 people still reside in 11 temporary settlements including those in Masepla and Buggoc, awaiting the completion of their permanent houses. Masepla has 4,700 residents while Buggoc has some 1,970 residents.
Together with the Philippine Red Cross, we implemented cash-for-work activities to assist the remaining internally displaced persons in these two sites. A 120-meter road to Masepla commonly used by the government for water rationing and trucking services was also improved to avoid disruptions caused by mud and flooding during heavy rains. In Buggoc, residents identified the need to repair their boardwalk because the wooden boardwalk planks leading to their respective temporary houses deteriorated. Nearly 200 workers joined this 15-day activity.