Inayawan brgy chief: 200 fire victims may lose homes near landfill

By Delta Dyrecka Letigio |February 18,2019 - 08:25 PM

The 200 victims of the Inayawan landfill fire are temporarily staying at the Inayawan gym. |Photo by Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The at least 200 victims, who were displaced by the Sitio White Road, Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City fire, may not be able to go rebuild the 30 shanties that were destroyed by the  Sunday, February 19 blaze.

Inayawan Barangay Captain Bryan Repollo said that the lot where the shanties used to stand, which is located around 50 meter away from the boundary of the lnayawan landfill, is owned by a private individual.

Repollo said that he was hoping that the 33 families or 200 individuals might still be able to go back to the lot despite not knowing the owner’s plans for the lot.

“Naghope gyod ta, sa, nga sugtan lang sa tag-iya nga ipabalik sila didto,” said Repollo.

Repollo said that they were also planning to declare a state of calamity in the barangay so that they could tap the barangay’s calamity fund and help the victims.

Read more: Inayawan landfill fire razes 30 shanties

He said the Cebu City government had provided enough aid to last for three days, but until the owner of the lot would allow the victims to return, they would have to stay in the Inayawan barangay gym and would need as much assistance as they could get.

“If dili mosugot ang owner, magpatabang ta sa syudad kung asa nato sila ibutang,” said Repollo.

Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella told Cebu Daily News Digital in a phone interview that the area near the landfill might be dangerous for residents and the city would have to think carefully if the victims of the fire should be allowed to go back.

“Ato nang tun-an pag maayo kay it is a landfill. Para nako tan-awon nato ug estudyohan pag maayo kung angayan pa ba silang pabalikon,” said Labella.

City Councilor Joel Garganera also questioned the safety of the landfill from fire disasters especially since the landfill had accumulated methane, a combustible gas, over the years.

“That is why kinahanglan na nga irehabilitate na nga landfill aron maavoid ang ing-ani nga tragedies,” said Garganera.

Garganera in 2016 filed a case against the Cebu city government for reopening the Inayawan landfill following its closure in 2015. The Supreme Court issued a Writ of Kalikasan over the landfill in favor of the case.

Nida Cabrera, City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) head, said that the methane gas from the landfill had begun to dissipate after its closure although the actual measurement of the amount of gas left had yet to be determined.

“Gitubuan naman gani nag mga kahoy ang mga landfill. Nagkaubos na gyod na ang methane diha,” said Cabrera.

Cabrera said that enclosing the landfill would prevent fire disasters in the future.

The Cenro is waiting for the final rehabilitation plans to start. In the meantime,  Cenro is constructing a 4-meter high permanent fence to enclose the area. /dbs

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