FIRE victims in Sitio Warwick Barracks, Barangay Ermita, Cebu City will not be allowed to rebuild their homes yet.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said they will conduct an inventory first.

The mayor has already instructed the City Market Operations Division to temporarily place the victims in Freedom Park, which is located beside the fire area.

But as of yesterday, fire victims, most of whom are vendors, had constructed make-shift stalls in the fire site.

Rama had already asked Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo Rupinta to advise them of the City’s plan.

“I wished I could emphasize to them the City’s plan for the area. If only we can bring back what the Warwick before, but our administration has to be practical,” he said.

Proposals

The mayor said he received proposals to develop the fire site into a commercial area with an open space under a build-operate-transfer scheme.

Asked if the fire victims can continue to live in the fire site, Rama said the City has to return the area to its original purpose.

“Few years back, it was a commercial area,” he said.

Even with the City’s plan to develop the area, Rama assured vendors in Warwick that their livelihood will not be affected.

Rama said they will also receive financial assistance from the City since they are also fire victims.

During the Commonwealth era, Warwick was an American barracks.

According to the book “Glimpses of the Old Cebu” by Lucy Urgello Miller, Warwick was built in 1902, replacing the Cuartel de Infanteria of the Spanish regime, to house American soldiers.