City spent P5.1M for fire-hit brys.

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Monday, January 27, 2014


THE Cebu City Government spent P5.1 million for about 1,000 families affected by the fire that hit four barangays last month.

The amount covered the packed meals, relief goods and housing materials the City extended to affected residents.

The victims are from Barangays Tejero, Carreta, Quiot and Kinasang-an.

Last Dec. 10, a fire broke in three sitios in Barangay Carreta and Tejero, gutting almost 200 houses.

Damaged to properties was raised to an estimated cost of P1 million and around 2, 200 individuals were left homeless.

The following day, another fire hit a hilly portion of Barangay Quiot and a part of Barangay Kinasang-an.

A problem like Colis St.

Drainage water that overflowed on Colis St. in Tabunok, Talisay City was pumped out and cleared by Saturday, to the relief of storeowners whose sales suffered when the area was flooded.

The estero water was so foul-smelling, one could smell it from the Tabunok flyover.

Only customers with the toughest stomachs can bear to go near the shops located along Colis St., that small road next to the old Tabunok Public Market.
But how long will Colis St. remain dry?

When government workers cleaned up the flooded street, they found lots and lots of garbage—mainly plastic bags—that clogged the drainage pipe. The volume of garbage unearthed from the drainage cannot be blamed on one person. It is the fault of many: the local government for not educating its people about waste management and sticking to an efficient garbage management system; the residents who throw their wastes anywhere except in garbage bins and for not bringing along recyclable bags when shopping; and businesses and manufacturing firms that continue to use plastic as packaging.

Without proper waste management and regulation on the use of plastic bags and packaging, Colis St. will be flooded again, and so will other streets in low-lying urban areas.

Public urinal

Cebu City Hall may ban street parties during the Sinulog Grand Parade but no one is stopping business owners to put up some tables on the street in front of their establishments near the parade route. People tend to be more tolerant during the Sinulog so the more sober tried not to complain about the noise and the traffic.

Enterprising individuals who put up tables, chairs and barbecue pits near the parade route, however, forgot to address one other need of their customers: toilets. So it was not surprising that their customers use any wall or post as urinal.

Sadly, while the streetsweepers have cleared the fiesta litter, there was nothing they could do about the stench.

Affected

Some 230 families were affected by the fire, while around 175 houses were also destroyed.

Though the council of the four barangays declared a state of calamity, the City did its part in spending and extending help to them.

A state of calamity declaration allows a barangay to use its calamity fund to be able to extend help to its residents.

The barangays sought the help of the City since most of their calamity funds were already used up since the fires in the last months of the year.

Liquidation

In the liquidation report submitted by the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS), the City spent more than P2 million in distributing packed meals to the fire victims.

As standard procedure, the City shouldered the victims’ meals for three days.

DSWS also extended some P2 million in relief goods, which included a disaster kit.

A total of P141, 224 was also spent for housing materials to help the fire victims rebuild their houses.

The amount was charged to the City’s calamity fund for 2013.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 27, 2014.

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