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Suba fire victims can rebuild homes if…

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | February 28,2020 - 11:44 AM
drone shot fire area barangay suba sitio sto nino

This is an aerial shot of a part of Sitio Santo Niño in Barangay Suba that was burned down in an evening fire last February 26, 2020. CDN Digital drone photo | Raul Constantine Tabanao

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The over 600 families displaced by the fire in Barangay Suba, Cebu City can rebuild their homes under one condition. 

A setback should be implemented.

This as Government officials from Barangay Suba and Cebu City plan to implement a setback in the affected area, which means that new structures that will be built in Sitio Sto. Niño should be at least a few meters away from the sidewalk.

IN PHOTOS: Barangay Suba fire

Jojo Sable, Suba Barangay Captain, told Cebu Daily News Digital in an interview that there is a need to reclaim the sidewalks in their barangays.

“A lot of houses have already encroached the sidewalks in our barangay. We are now coordinating with the DWUP (Division of Welfare for the Urban Poor) to iron out more about this matter – including the required distance between the sidewalk and the houses,” Sable said in Cebuano. 

Houses rebuilt with setbacks are usually erected at least five meters away from the sidewalk. 

Sable also said the need to reclaim their sidewalks is important so that firefighters will have easy access in case another fire breaks out in their village.

“When the fire broke out, we observed how some houses have even covered the canals which are also one of the paths firefighters should have access to when there’s fire,” he added. 

At least 300 houses were razed by the evening fire on February 26, 2020.  Initial cost of damage was pegged at P1.5 million.

Read: 259 houses razed in Cebu City blaze

The fire was reportedly due to faulty electrical wiring.

It quickly spread in the densely populated area since most houses were made of light materials.

Close to 3,000 individuals or 603 families lost their homes. Most of them are now staying in three evacuation sites near the barangay. 

Residents of Suba like Susana Cortes said she is amenable on following setback protocols on rebuilding their houses. 

However, Cortes, 60, who earns a living with her sari-sari store, said they needed financial help to reconstruct their house that was totally burned down by the fire. 

“We’re okay with the setback but what we really need is financial assistance so that we can rebuild our homes soon,” Cortes said in Cebuano.

Assistance in kind and in cash have started pouring in to the victims. 

Senator Bong Go is expected to visit the fire site and the victims staying in the designated evacuation sites on Friday, February 28, 2020. /bmjo

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