VICTIMS of the fire in Barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City will receive a cash aid of not more than P5,000 for each family.

Each family also received from City Hall rice and canned goods that the Social Welfare Office (SWO) and First Lady Paz Radaza distributed last Monday.

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Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Leo Mercado said Mayor Arturo Radaza tasked him to coordinate with the barangay officials of Pusok in identifying the registered house owners for the distribution of aid.

But the SWO got the flak from a member of the City Council because aside from the delay in the release of the assistance, it issued a statement, which the councilor described as "usual tardiness" in government office.

Apathy

"I would like to convey, in the strongest terms, my disappointment with the DSWD Lapu-Lapu City office for its inaction and apathy towards the fire victims. I am deeply saddened by the fact that until now the victims have yet to receive help from the said office, when in fact, the incident happened four days ago," City Councilor Junard Chan said in the City Council session.

An 82-year-old woman died and 63 houses were destroyed in the Feb. 13 fire in the barangay.

He revealed his disgust after the City Council approved a resolution asking the mayor to give financial assistance to the 63 victims.

SWO Head Carmelita Degamo was quoted in Sun.Star Superbalita last Tuesday, saying her office is still awaiting for the fire victims to submit the requirements before they can get the assistance from City Hall.

Clearances

The fire victims were told a day after the blaze to secure clearances from the barangay to prove their residency and to get a clearance from the Bureau of Fire Protection as a proof they were victims of the fire.

Chan said clearances could have been obtained later and the City Government should have attended to the needs of the victims first.

Paz and SWO distributed 35 kilos of rice, 12 cans of sardines and 24 cans of meat loaf to each family.

However, Mercado also said there is no date yet for the distribution of the cash assistance.

“Definitely, we will give it the soonest possible (time) because the victims need it. The house renters will get below P5,000,” he said.

Assistance

Meanwhile, three portable toilets were set up and tanods have been assigned regularly to maintain order in the relocation site.

Chan, who is running for mayor in May, also distributed rice and P5,000 assistance to the victims. He also gave burial assistance to Angelito Payac, whose 82-year-old mother was killed during the fire.