THE Lapu-Lapu City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO) will provide fare to victims of the fire that struck Sitio Sta. Maria in Barangay Pusok who want to stay with relatives or friends outside the city.
It’s the only way to decongest the evacuation center, according to Junard Abalos, officer in charge of the CSWDO.
The Dec. 12, 2023 blaze destroyed around 600 houses, affecting more than 8,000 individuals.
Abalos told SunStar Cebu that their number one challenge when it comes to assistance is the number of victims.
“The figures are overwhelming. As you can see, the number has reached 8,021 individuals or a total of 1,577 families,” said Abalos in a mix of Cebuano and English.
He admitted that the local government unit was caught by surprise, saying the evacuation center is not big enough to accommodate all the fire victims.
That’s why the CSWDO is offering to transport victims to their relatives within Metro Cebu, he said. And if victims are willing to go back to their provinces, the office is willing to provide them with the fare.
Meanwhile, Abalos called on the public to donate water, food and hygiene kits for the victims.
He said the items could be dropped off at the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office right across Hoops Dome in Barangay Gun-ob.
Ready-for-consumption food or hot meals may be brought directly to the evacuation center right underneath the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge near Barangay Pajo, he added.
The CSWDO is currently cross-matching victims to ensure they are bona fide residents affected by the fire to process their financial assistance.
Owners whose houses were destroyed will get P15,000. Those whose houses were damaged will get P10,000. Renters and shares will get P5,000 and P3,000, respectively.