Reblocking order gives hope to fire victims
THERE is still hope for the over 700 individuals displaced by a fire that struck a densely populated area in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City last December 5.
This hope is anchored on the announcement made by the Division of the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) of the Cebu City government that a reblocking is needed at Purok 3 in Barangay Kamputhaw.
This meant that the 194 families or 716 individuals affected by the fire may be allowed to return and rebuild their houses.
However, DWUP operations officer Genevieve Alcoseba clarified that they can only proceed with the reblocking of the fire-hit area with the permission of the University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) which owns the lot where most of the burned houses stood.
“We will be sending a letter to UP anytime this week. Our office also advised the victims that we have to pay courtesy to the lot owner,” said Alcoseba.
The reblocking, she said, will be jointly undertaken by the CCDRRMO (Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office) and the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW).
“Although we told them that it is likely they cannot return to rebuild their homes yet this December due to the upcoming holidays, we’re trying our best to speed things up,” said Alcoseba.
She said much will depend on the decision of UP.
UP to lease property
DWUP is proposing to widen the roads inside Purok 3 by five meters to allow firefighters and disaster teams to quickly respond to fires and other contingencies in the area.
Meanwhile, UP Cebu Chancellor Liza Corro said in a text message to CDN that they are planning to temporarily lease their property to the fire victims.
Corro bared that the university was supposed to put up a faculty and staff housing facility on the site. But since it does not have funds yet for the project, leasing the property for a specific period is the next viable option.
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