Case study of Zamboanga City (Forced Migration Area)

Case study of Zamboanga City (Forced Migration Area)

In the City of Zamboanga, the increase in growth rate during the first half of the decade (1990-1995) can be attributed to the net migration rate. This plus the rapid urbanization, has brought about positive and negative results, particularly on service delivery, resource mobilization and social concerns.

Because rapid urbanization and the ‘halaw’ problem in Zamboanga City has become a national and local concern, this study was initiated as part of the State of the Philippine Population Report of the Commission on Population. It will help local government officials to understand the critical role migration plays in shaping the socio-economic conditions especially of urban areas.

Specifically, it sought to answer the following objectives:

  • examine the extent of involvement of the LGU in managing urbanization in terms of their response on service provision, local policies formulation, planning and monitoring and resource mobilization
  • identify lessons on urbanization and local governance

'Halaws’ and other migrants to the city come from low socio-economic status and this situation puts more strain to the city’s resources, especially along health, education and peace and order. The growing number of urban slums is a manifestation of the deteriorating economy and productivity of the city. Since movements cannot be curtailed, the monitoring of migrants was not given attention by the previous administration, except for the sole attempt of tracking migrants through Ordinance No. 106, which required barangay officials and community residents to report the presence of transients and newcomers. In fact, most local officials see the movements of people to Zamboanga City and the forced migrants –halaws and evacuees from conflict-torn areas – more as a national rather than local concern.

There is a need to transform the negative effects of urbanization and migration through the conscious application of the population and development paradigm in the entire planning process at the various levels of governance. The consideration of the population characteristics will be an important determinant of the various social service requirements as well as the environmental needs. This will help ease the strain of the effects of rapid urbanization to the provision of basic services. It is important therefore to have adequate and updated data/information for proper planning and resource mobilization.


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