Warning up on bogus fund-raisers for Zamboanga crisis victims
MANILA, Philippines–Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman has warned the public about unscrupulous individuals and groups using her name and the department in soliciting funds from prospective donors supposedly for evacuees affected by the armed conflict in Zamboanga.
“We are not raising cash funds for Zamboanga as the government still has enough financial resources for the continuing relief operation there,” Soliman said.
“Those who wish to conduct fund-raising campaigns for Zamboanga may do so in their capacity as private individual or group. However, they need to get the proper permit from the (Department of Social Welfare and Development) for this,” she stressed.
A total of 23,794 families with 118,819 in 14 villages of Zamboanga City have been affected by the violent clashes between government security forces and fighters of the Moro National Liberation Front that lasted three weeks.
As of Oct. 1, a total of 38 evacuation centers are still serving 19,103 families with 102,401 persons.
The cost of assistance has reached P112.24 million from combined resources of DSWD (P106.748 million); LGU Zamboanga City (P1.148 million); and nongovernment organizations and other groups (P4.343 million).
Meanwhile, the DSWD, in partnership with Technical Skills and Development Authority, recently launched a skills training program at the JFE Sports Complex in Zamboanga city.
DSWD Assistant Secretary Camilo Gudmalin said the training aims to develop and enhance the skills of some of the evacuees, particularly on bead craft, hair cutting, and reflexology/massage.
Gudmalin stressed the need to engage the evacuees in productive activities, which form part of the recovery and rehabilitation phase.
“These activities can help them regain normalcy in their lives,” Gudmalin said.
A skills livelihood tent was established inside the complex which also serves as a productivity center for the evacuees.
As agreed by both agencies, training for each module lasts for five days. Trainees are given TESDA training certificates once they complete the training program.
Judith Gonzales, TESDA trainer for bead craft said that there were 20 individuals who registered for the training on bead-craft. Materials such as beads and nylon strings were provided to the trainees for their initial products, like key chains and wallets. She added that training on bead craft has no age requirement as the skill can be learned even by a 10-year-old.
DSWD committed to purchase the products made by the trainees at the end of the five-day training, which shall start soon.