Cebu City Council told: Declare state of calamity in fire-struck Mambaling sitios
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is asking the City Council to declare a state of calamity in Mambaling sitios hit by Friday night’s fire.
Rama said in a press conference on Saturday that he wants the funds to be available immediately to aid the fire victims.
“We should not wait for Monday. They should have a session tomorrow, tutal it can be done online,” said the mayor.
The city needs to declare a state of calamity in a particular area during a disaster in order to quickly access its disaster funds.
Councilor Raymond Garcia, the majority floor leader, said that they are waiting for the request of the mayor so they can hold a special session.
There must be at least a 24-hour notice for a special session to be called.
“We can hold the session immediately. Sayon raman na kay online naman lang. As long as it follows the procedures,” said the councilor.
The challenge will be in achieving a quorum on a Sunday as it is expected that most councilors will be resting during that day.
However, since it is important that a state of calamity be declared in affected sitios, Garcia said the council will try its best to hold a session as soon as possible.
Barangay Mambaling is also expected to declare a state of calamity because of the fire that razed over 600 homes.
Mambaling Barangay Captain Gines Abellana said they did not achieve a quorum in the barangay council today, but they will hold a session on Monday.
They are planning to use the remaining P200,000 disaster funds to aid the victims.
They will try to use other funds as well so the total budget would reach P450,000 at least on their level, he said.
It is expected that the city government will provide the brunt of the budget to aid the victims.
Mayor Rama said that they cannot allow the victims to return to their original lots without a reblocking.
He said the area has long lost its proper road network making it difficult for fire trucks to reach interior portions of the area whenever there is a fire.
“Bring back the width of the road. Until everything is being in control. No going back unless they will be retrieving. No construction will be made as long as there is no improvement,” said Rama.
The mayor has met with a convergence group to discuss the improvement plans for coastal barangays, especially in Mambaling.
“Ato silang pabalikon, magtukod sila nya mao ra gihapon, masunog napud. We have to improve,” he added.
The city plans to take the opportunity to rehabilitate the coastal areas of Mambaling after the fire. /rcg
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