AS a measure to minimize the use of schools as evacuation centers, the Cebu City Government will add P12,000 worth of rental subsidy on top of the P20,000 cash assistance it will give to fire victims.
The first to receive the three months worth of rental aid will be the close to 300 families who were displaced by a fire that razed their houses in Sitio Lutaw-Lutaw in Barangay Tisa and Tanjay in Barangay Labangon Monday dawn.
“This will be convenient and practical for the City. During those three months, we can re-block the fire-stricken areas without distraction. At the same time, we won't be disrupting classes,” said Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office chief Nagiel Bañacia.
He explained that with fire victims occupying public schools, the City Government has to pay for utility and maintenance fees, which cost a fortune.
Bañacia also pointed out that the school is not an ideal place for community members to live in temporarily as this will create an adverse “ecosystem” to both parties.
“I think finding a place to rent won't be a problem and that period is enough for us to do what we have to. Also, the conditions of the fire victims will be much better if they stay in a place fit for residential purposes, which are not found inside the classroom,” he said.
The City will re-block all fire-stricken areas in the past three months to pave interior roads which will make it easier for responders to work in times of emergency.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña supports the new assistance scheme for fire victims.
“We're processing it now because we want to be able to distribute it within the week. However, those who are just renting in the razed barangays won't be receiving rental subsidies. Only those who own the destroyed houses can avail,” he said.