- POSTED: 24 Sep 2013 22:14
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The situation in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga is now a humanitarian crisis, according to a government official who is leading the relief operations.
ZAMBOANGA: The situation in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga is now a humanitarian crisis, according to a government official who is leading the relief operations.
City officials said rehabilitating the city after the armed standoff with the Moro National Liberation Front will not be easy and will take time.
Residents here in Zamboanga City are striving for normalcy amid the ongoing standoff between Moro National Liberation Front rebels and government forces.
Though flights have resumed and goods at the sea ports can now be transported to and from the city, there's still that sense of fear reigning among residents as sporadic gunfires could still be heard in some parts of the city from time to time.
Into its 16th day, the standoff has kept many shops and offices in the central business district of the city closed, and only 60 per cent of the banks in the city have opened for business so far.
Businessmen here are now worried as to how Zamboanga can now continue to attract investors with this ongoing peace and order situation in the city.
Pocholo Soliven, president of Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc, said: "There are doubts and fears as to when and how this will end and the fear of recovery if we can really truly recover from this nightmare. It is two steps forward, 10 steps backward. This situation really sent us back and I really don't know how we can recover but hope springs eternal."
The Philippine military said they expect the deadly gun battles to be over soon as government troops intensifies its clearing operations.
Residents here can only hope that the conflict be truly resolved, so that their city will be able to rise again.