Fire victims given 14 months to seek relocation

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


THE owner of the fire-hit property in Purok Magtiayon, Barangay 10 in Bacolod City has given affected residents 14 months to live in his lot while recovering from the incident.

In February 17, about 60 houses were destroyed by the fire that left an estimated damage of P1.5 million. [Read the related story.]

Rommel Agupitan decided to give the victims more time to stay in his property until they find a relocation site after tension rose following his order to fence off the area.

Village chief Dexter Yap said he stopped Agupitan's securtiy guards who were about to put up a perimeter fence.

After the two parties went to the city's Action Center for settlement, Yap said Agupitan allowed the residents to put up temporary shelters in his property and offered P3,000 financial assistance per affected family.

He added that he also wants to determine which relocation site the victims want to be transferred to, whether at Arao or Vista Alegre-Granada (Abada-Escay).

Yap said the fire victims will be asked to sign individually a memorandum of agreement with the lot owner which will be ratified by the City Council.

"A resolution that will cover the terms and conditions of the lot owner for allowing them to temporarily stay in his property for 14 months will also be drafted," the village chief added.

The affected families are still temporarily sheltered at the Bays Center.

A portion of the property affected by the fire is owned by Boy Montalbo, while Lots 3 and 4 are owned by Julius Esmeralda and Agupitan, respectively.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 26, 2014.

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