‘P22M rental subsidy to fire victims economical’

CEBU City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CCDRRMO) chief Nagiel Bañacia is confident that the proposed P22-million budget for rental subsidy to fire victims will be approved by the City Council.

Bañacia, in an interview, said that the giving of rental subsidy has been proven effective as a similar program was launched by the Department of Interior and Local Government during the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III.

During the budget hearing for the proposed P6.2-billion 2018 annual budget last Monday, Councilor Margarita Osmeña, head of the committee on budget and finance, said that the subsidy should be justified considering that it is on top of the P20,000 financial assistance that the City Government is giving to fire survivors.

Bañacia, though, said that the rental subsidy program is economical and practical compared to building a centralized evacuation center.

The CCDRRMO chief said that giving P9,000 to each fire victim would be cheaper than paying for the utility bills and maintenance of the facility.

He added that many of the survivors opt to camp at the fire site considering that most of them are illegal settlers or beneficiaries of the City’s slum improvement and resettlement program.

CCDRRMO has placed the damage cost of all the fire incidents in the city from July 2016 to June 7 this year at P331.2 million.

Around 2,500 families or more than 10,000 individuals were displaced while 11 were killed.

“Only one of the thousands of victims was reported to be wealthy,” Bañacia said. (RTF)
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