Rama: Release financial assistance to Mambaling fire victims in 3 days

By: Delta Derycka C. Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | November 27,2021 - 03:16 PM
fire victims

Fire victims try to save some of their belongings, the day after Friday’s massive fire that razed more than 600 homes in Barangay Mambaling. | CDND Photo / Delta Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama ordered the release of financial assistance for the fire victims in Barangay Mambaling within three days.

The mayor said in a press conference on Saturday, November 27, 2021, that he wants the cash assistance to be released immediately so the victims can already use it.

“I want the financial assistance released in 3 days, immediately. We should not wait,” said Rama

At least 3,107 individuals were already accounted for as victims of the fire. A possible 2,000 are yet to be accounted for.

The fire that lasted more than two hours on Friday night razed 641 houses with 700 families, all of which are evacuated in either the Alaska Mambaling Elementary School or the Mambaling Barangay Hall gym.

Rama lamented that the public school did not open all classrooms for the evacuees immediately, causing a crowd to form in the school gym.

He immediately asked Education Secretary Leonor Briones for permission to open it, to which the secretary has responded by ordering the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd) to open the school.

“When it comes to fire, automatic na. The school is always an evacuation center. I do not want to quarrel with DepEd. They need to toe the line.”

“Toe the line to open the rooms. We cannot just bring fire victims to sleep on the floor, that is inhumane,” said the mayor.

Aside from ensuring that the evacuees are comfortable, Rama has met with the convergence groups to hasten the release of aid for all victims including construction materials.

He said the priority of the city government is to respond to the needs of the victims and hasten the plans for their return.

Mambaling Barangay Captain Gines Abellana said that the evacuees need mattresses, blankets, food, water, clothes, and hygiene kits.

He appealed to the public to donate what they can through the barangay because the victims badly need these items as soon as possible.

“Ipaagi lang nila sa barangay kay ato paman irepack aron tanan pud mahatagan,” he said.

Maria Estrella Campaner, a 71-year-old resident of Sitio Lawis said she lost her entire home to the fire.

“Hasta among kaldero ugdaw. Gamay ra kaayo mig nadala. Hangyo lang unta ko nga hatagan mig plywood aron makatukod na mig balik. Unta mahatagan sad mig kwarta kay wala na miy panggasto,” she said.

Estrella and her seven family members are currently staying at the Alaska Mambaling Elementary School hoping to receive aid from the government.

She fears that she would no longer be able to return because she lives in the coastal barangay.

“Unta pabalikon mi nila kay wala gyod miy laing kapaingnan,” she said.    /rcg


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TAGS: blankets, Cebu City Mayor, clothes, DepEd, financial assistance, fire victims, food, hygiene kits, Mambaling fire, mattresses, Michael Rama, water

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