Mandaue City prepares calamity aid to fire victims
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu—The city government of Mandaue will be readying aid for the hundreds of families who lost their homes to the dawn fire in Barangay Tipolo on Thursday, June 27, 2019.
The City Council, who just had their end-of-term session on Wednesday, June 26, will convene for an emergency session this afternoon to declare a state of calamity in Barangay Tipolo and utilize the city’s quick response fund (QRF).
Acting Mandaue City Mayor Carlo Pontico Fortuna, in an interview on Thursday, said the present council needs to make the declarations immediately so that the concerned offices will have ready access to the funds needed to aid the fire victims.
“The needs of the victims are really urgent and I don’t want to let the departments concerned be hindered in their access to the calamity fund,” Fortuna said.
Fortuna explained that if they wait for the incoming councilors to declare the state of calamity, it would take some time since they will have their inaugural session on Wednesday, July 3, and they would still need to reorganize the committees in the council.
Fortuna said the city may give at least P11 million aid to the fire victims.
As of 11 a.m. the City Social Welfare Services Office has enlisted 435 families of fire victims. CSWS personnel continue to gather data of the affected residents as of press time.
Senior Fire Officer 2 (SFO2) Edgar Vergara, chief investigator of the Mandaue City Fire Department, said the fire, which razed three sitios, has incurred damage to property of about P1.3 million.
Most of the houses in the area were made of light materials.
On Thursday morning, the barangay officials, outgoing city officials, incoming City Administrator Jamaal Calipayan and lawyer John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary to Mayor-elect Jonas Cortes, met to discuss on how to manage the fire victims.
The group agreed to set the parking area of the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) to be the evacuation site for the fire victims. Ibañez said the CICC is the only venue that could accommodate all the fire victims from Sitios Basubas, Espina and Maharlika.
He added that they are currently assessing the ownership of the lots where the razed homes stood in order to evaluate if the fire victims would still be allowed to go back to their old spots. /bmjo
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