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Mambaling fire victims’ concerns: Rebuilding homes, schooling for their kids

By: Zena V. Magto June 01,2019 - 03:46 PM

Survivors of the May 31 fire in Barangay Mambaling line up for their water supply. | Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Phiippines — Jerrylyn Compuesto, 33, lived her whole life in her home in Sitio Puntod, Barangay Mambaling  Cebu City.

And it only took two hours to lose her home to an afternoon fire on May 31.

Compuesto and her members of her family were at home when the fire broke out.

Read more: Mambaling fire destroys 84 houses, displaces 446 persons

She, her two children and her husband, Rodel Compuesto, were able to get out, save a few appliances and important documents.

Losing their home is a big blow to the family, especially since their meager income — Jerrylyn distributes flyers of a company offering overseas jobs while Rodel sells balut — was barely enough for the family to make ends meet.

What is worse is that classes are about to begin next week.

Her 10-year-old son was supposed to start his classes as a Grade 5 student, while her four-year-old daughter as a day care student on June 3.

But the fire destroyed their school requirements and uniforms.

“Even the old ones were razed. My son’s shoes were also included. He will have to wear civilian clothes on Monday, ” said Compuesto in vernacular. 

Her daughter’s school requirements were also supposed to be ready, but were also destroyed by the fire.

Read more: IN PICTURES: Mambaling fire aftermath

Their house is just beside the Sitio Puntod Gym, and is a block away from the origin of the fire, the house of the Amoras.

Most of the fire victims spent the night at the Sitio Puntod gym, instead of the Sitio Abbya Gym.

This despite having no electricity since Sitio Puntod gym’s electric wires were affected by the fire.

Compuesto also said that they had trouble accessing clean water to wash their things and to take a bath.

Read more: Mambaling chief appeals to public: Fire victims need blankets, sleeping mats, clothes

Anne Marie Palomo, acting Mambaling barangay captain, said in an interview on June 1 that they planned to transfer the evacuation center to Sitio Viking Gym, citing the inaccessibility and small space of the Sitio Abbya Gym.

“Dili na sa Abbya, kay huot kaayo. Diri sila gahapon sa Puntod gym pero lisod pod kaayo sudlan sa mga heavy equipment. So ngadto na lang gyud sa Viking Gym,” said Palomo.

Palomo said that the victims might still be able to go back to their homes, since they own the lots.

She also said that they might not be able to provide school supplies to the affected victims immediately since they had yet to consolidate the exact number of affected school children.

The family kits which will be handed out on June 3 by the city’s Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) also do not include school supplies.

The family kit basically is made up of five kilos of rice, canned goods and kitchen utensils.

With this, Palomo is calling on the private sector to help these school children.

“I would advise the private sector to please donate school supplies, but right now we still have to consolidate the number,” Palomo said.

According to the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, as of 10 p.m. on May 31, the Sitio Puntod fire destroyed 105 houses and displaced 156 families or 615 individuals.

Meanwhile, Compuesto said that she would be relying on the help of the government so she would be able to rebuild her home.

“I still don’t know what to do. I will have to wait for whatever the government will assist (us with),” said Compuesto. | dbs

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TAGS: documents, fire, homes, Mambaling, Palomo, rebuilding, school, uniform, victims

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