Banilad fire victims get cash aid

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014


THE Cebu City Government has distributed the financial assistance to families affected by the fire that struck Sitio Ibaan in Barangay Banilad last Saturday.

Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) Chief Ester Concha said 58 families received P10,000 each.

Records from the DSWS showed that 96 families, or 330 individuals, were affected by the fire, which destroyed 31 houses.

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Councilor Gerardo Carillo urged the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) 7 to come up with a detailed report and to establish where the fire started and what caused it, among others.

“It will set a precedent and BFP should already come up with the report on who was the responsible for the fire and file charges if found that there is negligence on their part,” Carillo told reporters.

No-build zone

The City, though, has yet to distribute the shelter assistance to the victims since it has not allowed them to rebuild their structures on the site.

Carillo said the City will build a socialized condominium in the area to house the victims, who were living along the three-meter easement zone of the Mahiga River.

Some families who live along the riverbank but were spared by the fire can move in to the condominium, he said.

The Reduction of Danger Zones will conduct an inventory in the area and will clear structures inside the easement zone.

Under the law, river easements are considered no-build zones.

The City is negotiating with the owner of the lot where the fire-gutted houses stood so it can build the socialized condominium.

“After buying the lot, we will restore the easement and the remaining (area) will be the site for the condominium,” Carillo said.

The City will also tap the National Housing Authority to help fund the construction of the condominium.

Undergoing therapy

In another development, the Capitol will shoulder the burial expenses of Ezekiel Gab Sarnillo, four, and his one-year-old brother Philip Hanz, who were killed when fire destroyed their house last June 22 in the southern town of Sibonga, said Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) Assistant Head Rose Jao.

Jao said the Capitol usually allocates P3,000 for each victim, but they might raise the amount since Allan and Gemma, the victims’ parents, are in great need.

The Sarnillos also received relief assistance from the Capitol, which included a tent, a sack of rice, a carton of coffee, two sacks of used clothing, six packs of assorted canned goods, school supplies and three blankets.

The couple and their two remaining children, aged 10 and eight, are undergoing stress-debriefing sessions.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 02, 2014.

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