Ermita fire victims told to leave site this week

By: Doris C. Bongcac January 28,2014 - 12:03 PM

TENT CITY. Tents donated by the Red Cross Society of China stand near the service road beside the South Coastal Road Viaduct. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The families who lost their homes to a fire that gutted Warwick Barracks in barangay Ermita, Cebu City will soon have to leave the area where they set up temporary shelters, a City Hall official said.

Alvin Santillana, operations head of the City Risk Reduction Management Council, said they will have to leave within the week so they can proceed with their restoration works.

The CRRMC set up 40 tents donated by the Red Cross Society of China under the viaduct of the Cebu South Coastal Road.

“The area has to be cleared first so restoration can start,” Santillana said.

The Department for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) is still looking for a relocation site for the affected families.



Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama earlier said he wants vendors to be relocated to the nearby Freedom Park while the city government rehabilitates the burnt area with the help of three private sector partners.

He said Warwick is classified as a market area under the city’s zoning ordinance.

But some vendors set new stalls outside the fenced site and some families built shanties outside and even inside the city’s fence.

Raquel Arce, head of the city market operations division, is conducting dialogues with the vendors and settlers to convince them to move to their temporary relocation sites.

“Gusto sad mi ug kasigurogan nga naa gyud mi kabalhinan kay lisud kaayo ug asa ma lugar ang among pamilya. (We want to be sure that there really is a place for us),” a fire victim who requested anonymity said.



Another resident, 54-year-old Boy Gabutero, said they are okay with the clearing but they won’t leave.

“For the vendors, there were no resistance. For the dwellers, it’s barangay chairman Felicisimo Rupinta who will handle them,” Arce said.



Santillana said the relocation sites they set up under the viaduct is an ideal site for the affected families because this is 100 meters from their burnt stalls and shanties in Warwick.

The relocation site is located at the back of Carbon Market Unit III. City Hall personnel set up the Red Cross tents Sunday evening.

The 40 tents are part of the 300 tents which the Chinese Red Cross donated to the city for the use of the Carreta fire victims. /  with Correspondent Jose Santino S. Bunachita

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