Tent city occupancy delayed

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Friday, December 6, 2013

THE tent city the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the Cebu City Government have set up at the South Road Properties (SRP) will be ready for occupancy by Eastern Visayas evacuees on December 11 yet, not today.

The ground is muddy because of the rains and has yet to be overlaid with gravel.

Meanwhile, at the evacuation center in Tinago, Cebu City, Barangay Captain Joel Garganera requested donors to arrange their visits with him and not with any other office or person.

His call came after chaos and confusion marked charity visits of private groups at the evacuation center last November 30 because of overlapping schedules.

At the SRP, the covered tents are in place but will be made available to evacuees only next week, probably Wednesday, SRP Management Office chief Roberto Varquez said.

He said the gravel, ordered by PRC early this week, will only be delivered today.

Aside from the delayed delivery, the City’s payloader and grader have bogged down.

Repair of the payloader is expected to be done by today, and the grader over the weekend.

The tent city will initially accommodate 50 families. When more tents are set up, then more families will be accommodated.

The Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWD) will identify who among the evacuees or survivors will be moved to the tent city but will need to get their consent.

PRC has promised 120 tents.

At least 300 survivors of super typhoon Yolanda from Leyte and Samar are housed at the Tinago Sports Complex, Guadalupe Gym and Cogon Ramos Gym, all in Cebu City. More survivors are staying in houses of relatives and friends.

The tent city will have facilities such as a children’s playground, a meeting hall, a cooking and dining area, comfort rooms, shower rooms and washing areas. Power and water supply will also be available.


Meanwhile, Garganera said his wife Audrey said they did not take advantage of the outreach conducted by Mandaue City Treasurer Regal Oliva and his friends last Saturday at the Tinago gym.

Oliva had criticized on his Facebook account what he said was the “smuggling” of non-evacuee children by Audrey into the Tinago gym so they could join the evacuee-children in the party he and his friends hosted. Oliva said what Audrey did was “politically motivated.” Oliva’s Facebook status on this has gone viral.

Garganera and Audrey said they found it unfair to be judged when Oliva did not have his facts right.

The couple said several groups visited the Tinago evacuation center that Saturday and their schedules overlapped.

Give away

A group brought 600 food packs from Jollibee and its mascot. This number was far to many for the 100 or so children evacuees staying at the gym.

A group representative decided to give the remaining food packs to the children in the squatter areas of Tinago and asked Audrey to bring them inside the gym, Garganera and Audrey said.

Garganera was not around last weekend as he was in Singapore to run a marathon on December 1, and had delegated the supervision to a barangay councilor and Audrey.

Because there were too many people at the evacuation center that Saturday, there was difficulty distinguishing the lines of people and voices and instructions could hardly be heard above the noise.

Audrey said she had requested the visitors to limit their time with the evacuees because there were others waiting.

Get facts right/b>

“I hope that before they utter anything, they will know first what really happened,” Garganera said.

Oliva, one of close to 20 law students and graduates who conducted the outreach event, said he didn’t like the way Audrey conducted herself when his mother, Toledo City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva, took note of non-evacuee children being “smuggled” into the line of the evacuee-children when they were distributing goodies.

When asked why she was doing this, Audrey allegedly said, “Asawa ko sa kapitan (I am
the barangay captain’s wife)!”

The incident occurred around 4 p.m. Oliva said he was no longer at the gym at the time, but one of his friends called him about it.

Oliva said barangay leaders may be seeking political gains by bringing the barangay’s constituents to the gym to benefit from outreach programs.

“How could it be politically motivated? These are kids! Elections are over,” Garganera said.


Nevertheless, Garganera said what happened last Saturday showed that the visiting and distribution system he set up needs to be improved.

He requested that visits be arranged with him and not with any group or person.

Oliva, a law graduate of the University of San Carlos, said he and his friends prepared food and activities to entertain about 100 children staying at the gym.

He said the number of children doubled after Garganera’s wife brought children from the neighborhood outside.

“I know those kids of Tinago also need an outreach program, but they are in their homes. The kids in the gym need it more because they were displaced and traumatized by Yolanda,” Oliva said.

Their group gave goodies, pillows and food to the children. They also hired entertainers for the children, and brought doctors to provide medical services to the refugees.

During the confrontation, Oliva said Garganera’s wife reprimanded his group, saying their outreach event was not scheduled.


But Oliva said they scheduled their activity with the DSWD two weeks earlier.

He said they cut short their outreach event after the verbal confrontation. The activity started at 1 p.m. and ended around 4 p.m., an hour earlier than their schedule.

Oliva said he and his friends will not let the incident stop them from helping the displaced families staying in Tinago gym.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 06, 2013.

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