Cebu City to strengthen reblocking measures

Cebu City.
Cebu City.Photo by Yans Baroy

FIRE incidents have been reoccuring in Cebu City with a recent fire striking Sitio Ulap, Barangay Basak Pardo, which affected 400 square meters of property with an estimated damage of P2.4 million.

The fire damaged five structures, and destroyed seven others. A total of 60 individuals were affected.

In an interview with SunStar Cebu on Friday, March 8, 2024, Mayor Michael Rama said the City Government will continue to implement reblocking initiatives in response to fire incidents.

Reblocking involves creating more space between houses to limit the spread of fire and allow emergency responders access to the scene.

“Wa gyud nay undang [ang] reblocking. (Reblocking will not stop.) That’s why I’m having them probe,” he said.

The mayor previously stated the need for reblocking initiatives and stressed the importance of strict building regulations.

“Dugay nana siya na idea (That idea has been around for a long time),” said Rama.

He said the private sector and the barangay should collaborate to ensure the success of reblocking efforts.


Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) head Mark Abella Ceballos said that there will be eventual reblocking of areas that are prone to fire.

He, however, declined to disclose specific details such as the areas and number of residents that will be affected, as they are still in the process of validating the data.

One of the things they are looking into is whether residents who will be affected by reblocking own the lot they occupy.

He said residents who do not have their own housing may be placed in socialized housing.

Last year, the City Government allocated P1.5 billion for the acquisition of lots that are spread across Barangays Kinasang-an Pardo, Basak Pardo and Basak San Nicolas for the South Coastal Urban Development, the City’s socialized housing project.

Ceballos, who became head of the DWUP on March 4, said he has been an observer of the department since the last quarter of 2023.

“Naay gyud dako na posibilidad na kung mahimo maka project og mga reblocking kay aron madefine ang maagian in cases of emergency,” said Ceballos.

(There is indeed a great possibility that if reblocking projects can be undertaken, the pathways can be clearly defined in cases of emergency.) / RJM


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