Binay assures help for Luz fire victims-A A +A
Thursday, May 17, 2012
VICE President Jejomar Binay yesterday announced his intention to help the fire victims of Barrio Luz, Cebu City.
Binay was in Cebu for the signing of the memorandum of agreement with five homeowners associations that will purchase the provincial lots they have been occupying for years.
Binay said he will provide building materials to the victims.
He said his office is still getting the final assessment of the accident.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama sought Binay’s assistance for the fire victims.
Meanwhile, some displaced families in the fire in Barangay Luz failed to receive their P10,000 cash assistance from the Cebu City Government, an official said.
City Councilor Nida Cabrera, former Luz barangay captain, said several families confided to her that they have not received the City’s cash aid.
Cabrera lamented that the master list of the City’s Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS) for the cash assistance was not accurate. Cabrera secured a copy of the list the other day.
“Naay uban nga nag-doble. Nakalista ang asawa unya nakalista pod ang bana. Kahibaw man ko kay kaila man ko ana nila tanan diha (There are cases of double listing. The wife was in the list as well as the husband. I know because I know all of them),” she said.
Cabrera said she asked DSWS to correct and validate the list of their intended beneficiaries the next time.
Asked if DSWS should get back the money from the families who received the cash assistance twice, Cabrera said the matter should be addressed by the concerned office.
The cash assistance was released to the fire victims last Tuesday.
City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete also met with Luz barangay officials yesterday and told them that some of the fire victims can already start rebuilding their homes.
He said fire victims, whose houses sit near the roads, can’t rebuild yet until the City will be able to restore the original width of the roads.
Poblete said he already told DSWS to prepare the housing materials for releasing to the fire victims.
In an interview yesterday, Poblete clarified that the City will not widen the roads in the area that was razed by fire to 10 meters.
Poblete said that based on the survey made by the City’s Department of Engineering and Public Works and Management Information Computer Services, the original width of the road was only 6 meters.
At present, the roads at the fire-stricken area are 4.25 meters.
The residents earlier said they will oppose the road widening to 10 meters, saying that many families will be displaced.
The City Council, on the other hand, yesterday declared the sitios in Luz that were hit by fire under the state of calamity.
The declaration of the state of calamity will allow the immediate release of the calamity fund to aid the fire victims.
The Cebu City Fire Department sent a letter-request to the Office of the Mayor for the purchase firefighting equipment.
The letter stated that that most of the equipment used by the fire department break down during operations.
At present, there are 22 fire trucks that were distributed to the nine fire sub-stations in the city.
Of the 22, only seven of these fire trucks are serviceable, while the rest either need an engine overhaul or have mechanical and electrical defects. (Lourd Emmanuel Gelasque, St. Paul SF Intern)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 17, 2012.