MATERIALS for rebuilding their homes are what the fire survivors of Barangay Pahina Central need now.
Last May 7, at 4 a.m., a fire broke out in Sitio Tomoy and Riverside, Barangay Pahina Central, Cebu City, leaving seven persons dead, including children.
The fire that reportedly started from a lamp burned 120 houses, affecting 243 families.
The City Government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private individuals pooled their resources to help the victims, who received clothes, cash and other assistance.
The victims are staying at Citilink, Barangay Pahina Central gym and Regino Mercado Elementary School.
Only a few of them have started rebuilding their houses. The P10,000 cash they received from the City is barely enough for food and other daily needs.
Fire survivor Jefferson Abalo, 35, a father of two, who is staying at the Regino Mercado Elementary School, is among the few who has started rebuilding their houses.
He said the cash aid was a help but it was not enough. He had to budget the money for food and building materials.
Fire victim Osheer Jane Batayola, 18, is a single mother. She sells banana cue and meals in the Carbon Public Market.
After the fire, she stayed at the elementary school with her family. She moved to a relative’s house later because she didn’t have money to buy building materials.
Other families are afraid to rebuild in the same area because of trauma.
“Lisod gyod kay nawala sa amoa ang tanan (It’s difficult because we lost everything),” said Savilla Janeth Go, 42.
Go said they don’t know what plans the barangay has for them, except that they will be relocated.
Nancy Ofianga, a day-care worker under the Social Welfare Services of the barangay, said the families staying at the elementary school will have to leave since Brigada Eskwela will be held next week.
“Temporary ra man usa kay wala pa man pud ang mga materials gikan sa City Government (Their stay in the school is temporary until the City sends building materials),” Ofianga said.
She said homeowners will each receive 10 sheets of plywood and 10 sheets of galvanized iron. Judilyn Joy L. Defensor, Honey Cates C. Pacana, CNU Interns