Thursday, May 23, 2019

Can village fire victims stay?

THE Barangay Council of Kamputhaw will ask the Cebu City Government to assist them financially following the fire that gutted 70 houses in Upper Purok 3 Wednesday morning, Dec. 5.

The blaze caused P1 million worth of damage in properties and displaced 67 families or 252 individuals, now mostly staying in the barangay gym, according to the initial list of the Cebu City Social Welfare Services Department as of 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5.

Meantime, the fire survivors may have to wait first before they can reconstruct their houses since the lot they used to occupy is owned by the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu.

Kamputhaw Barangay Captain Jessica Cadungog said they had used up their calamity fund in the fire that hit the barangay earlier this year.

In August, around 60 houses were also destroyed by a fire that hit Purok 3, Lower Kalunasan.

“It seems that this fire is a continuation because the first area that was hit is the Lower. Now it’s in the Upper. We really need the help of the City,” Cadungog said.

The barangay council of Kamputhaw is set to hold a special session on Dec. 6.

Cadungog said they will ask the Department of the Interior and Local Government if the barangay is allowed to use the remaining unused calamity fund of 2012 and 2013.

Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office Chief Nagiel Bañacia said the City has enough money in its calamity fund to help the barangay.

“Whether they have money or not, the City will be helping the barangay. That’s the instruction of the mayor, that we should help the fire victims by all means,” he said.

Meanwhile, Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor Operations Chief Genevieve Alcoseba said that if they will be allowed by UP Cebu, they will implement a reblocking in the area.

“The whole property is under UP Cebu. This is another problem of the City, but we will not give up, and hopefully UP will allow us to allow the residents to go back to the lot because we don’t have an available relocation site. We don’t want to displace a family because of fire,” she said.

UP Cebu Chancellor Liza Corro said the properties surrounding the school’s campus is owned by the university.

Corro, who is still in Manila, said she will wait for the representatives of the barangay and the City to discuss what will happen to the residents.

Meanwhile, Cebu City Fire Marshal Noel Ababon said they received the alarm at 10:20 a.m. Firefighters controlled the flames at 10:45 a.m.

A resident told Superbalita Cebu that the fire started in a house in the interior portion of Upper Purok 3.

Ababon said they will call the witnesses during their investigation.

Kamputhaw Councilor Helen Bejic, a resident in the purok, said the blaze originated in the house of the Salapi family.

She said the place’s narrow roads made it hard for the firefighters to penetrate the interior of Upper Purok 3. (RVC/from AYB of SuperBalita/KAL)


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