Oro fire victims relocation sought before classes start

A SCHOOL official of Lapasan National High School is asking the Cagayan de Oro City officials to fast-track the relocation of victims of the May 21 fire now that classes are about to start.

Pee Jey Cagara, a teacher at the school, said the more than 200 families occupy the school's 32 classrooms.

"In a way, naapektuhan gayud ang kickoff sa Brigada kay ang uban classrooms wala gayud na-prepare para sa tingklase kay gigamit man lage sa nasunugan," Cagara said.

Cagara said the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) office promised to relocate the fire victims before the end of May but the plan seems to have been changed.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said the City Government is still finding a suitable relocation site, a task the administration describes as 'difficult' due to the still unapproved budget.

"Dili naman na sila magdugay, everything is being done, dili baya na sayon kay relocation site man gayud ang solution, they will need an area for a space, dili man na dali gud, it’s a long process. Sige lang, we can still do that," he said.

The City Council earlier said it will approve the budget before June 30 but added it will approve their own version and not Moreno's proposed P4.8 billion budget.

"It’s their call to approve budget. But that does not prevent us from doing remedial measures," Moreno said.

Cagara said it would be best if the evacuees will be transferred to another location before classes start on June 13 to avoid interruption of classes.

Melou Jean Lopera, one of the victims of the fire, related how hard her life is at the evacuation center sharing one classroom with other five families.

Being pregnant, Lopera said she wants to transfer and build a house of her own to keep her child safe and protected.

"Gusto na gayud nga magtukod nami ug balay namo. Problema pud ang mga bata nako nga naa na sa elementarya, kay eskwela na pero wala pa gayud intawon silay mga gamit," Lopera said.

"Lisod kaayo, imbis naka-save nami sa balay, nag-ready nami para manganak napud ko, nasunog naman hinuon. Niundang nalang ko sakong trabaho gahapon kay lisod among kahimtang," she added.

The fire, which happened on May 20, was said to have started after a child played with a lighted candle around during the power interruption in the city.

The house where the fire started was made of light materials which caused the immediate spread throughout the neighborhood.

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