Victims may be allowed to rebuild their homes
BARANGAY PAJO FIRE
OWNERS of the 47 houses that were burned during a fire last Sunday in Barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City, will be allowed to rebuild their homes.
Pajo Barangay Captain Junard “Abong” Chan gave this assurance as the barangay cannot provide a relocation site for the fire victims.
“Actually, kon ako ang pangutan-on, makabalik sila ana (if you ask me, they can return to their place). The barangay has no site for relocation,” said Chan.
Several of the houses that burned were already scheduled for demolition because these were encroaching on the three-meter easement zone.
Chan said that unless the city government could provide another area, the fire victims of Sitios New Paradise and Kitchen will stay there and rebuild their houses.
“If the city can provide a relocation site, pwede nato mapabalhin ang mga tawo (we can transfer the residents),” Chan said.
Although demolition notices had been given to the owners of some houses that were razed by the fire, Chan said they have not yet heard from the city government if there is already an available site for the informal settlers to transfer.
“Wala tay nadungog (We have not heard) from the city government that they will provide relocation, they (displaced families) can still go back to the area,” he said.
At least 253 individuals comprising 47 households residing on the coastal area in the two sitios were left homeless.
The fire reportedly started in an abandoned house in Sitio Kitchen, where two alleged drug users hiding there had caused the fire.
The damage was estimated at P75,000 considering the structures burned were made of light materials. No injuries were reported.
But for 17 of the households, this was their second fire this year. They had barely recovered from the fire that hit Sitio New Paradise last March 16.
Marjorie Castro, 40, and her family had just rebuilt their house and had it blessed last July 8, her birthday.
Her new house was razed to the ground.
“Wala gyod nahabilin. Nahugno gyod mi sa nahitabo (There was nothing left. We were all downhearted),” she said.
She will no longer celebrate the fiesta but instead use the money to buy construction materials to build yet another house.
Barangay officials declared a state of calamity yesterday to facilitate the release of calamity funds for the affected residents.
Chan said they have yet to determine how much is left of the budget.
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