Brgy Basak San Nicolas dad belies allegations of negligence over fire response
CEBU CITY, Philippines — An official of Barangay Basak-San Nicolas in Cebu City has denied allegations that they were negligent in their response to the fire that burned a house in Sitio Toong of the said barangay on Saturday morning, April 30, 2022.
Jovanni Tabada, head of the barangay’s Committee on Disaster, in an interview, said that their fire volunteers responded to the area and did a bucket relay to help in putting out the blaze.
This was because the barangay’s issued firetruck has defects and remains unusable at that time. He said they are already planning to send a request for another firetruck from the city government maybe after the election.
“Padung sa iyang bomba mukusog, hinay,” Tabada said.
“Wala ta nagpasagad sa sunog kay ang atoang fire truck naa gyuy deperensya mao nga wa nato gipadagan kay unsaon mana nato og di gihapon nato magamit so ang atoang personnel nag bucket relay sa area,” he added.
The barangay’s firetruck was reportedly issued to the barangay around 2010 or 2011.
Kevin Sabal, one of the barangay’s fire volunteers, said that they were there and they even checked if responding firetrucks could access the area considering its narrow pathway.
“Nagcheck mis area unsaon pagpasud sa firetruck kay dagko man kaayo. Ang ila gitan aw tanan puros sayup, wa nila gitan aw ang maayo,” Sabal said.
Grace Lucero, who lives in the house that was burned earlier expressed her dismay over what she called the sloppy response of barangay personnel.
“I call out. I seminar sad na sila uy. Unsa may purpose sa among pagbayad og taxes unya ingun ana sila, kapila nana nahitabo,” she said.
“Na dismaya gyud mi kay kapila nana nahitabo, asta amoang silingan (April 7),” she added.
Tabada, for his part, said that they were never remiss in their responsibilities.
“Nitrabaho mis angay namo trabahuonun kay every month mag rekorida mi esp sa sunog wa ta magpasagad kay ang personnel naa man,” he added.
The fire was first reported around 5:48 am.
Lucero said that when she walked out of their room, she saw the ceiling was already on fire. She said she immediately grabbed her one-year-old and 15-year-old children and her mother to escape. She said she also woke her husband up to put out the fire but the latter failed as the blaze spread quickly.
Lucero said they could not even tell what has caused the fire as they did not leave any plugged devices during the night.
“Base sa giingon sa silingan, nag una kuno sa luyo. Unya wa man mi gicharge kay ako mana i check…naay nag sige og piti-piti sa luyo, nagtuo ko nga amoang iro kay usual man gud sayo na sya magsigeg kabkab kay gukdon nila ang iring sa mga silingan,” Lucero said.
She said that they have been living in this house for 40 years already.
They are nine in the family inside the house when the incident happened. All were able to run for safety but sans their valuables. She said even her two dogs did not make it out.
So far, she said they have yet to receive any financial assistance from the barangay.
“ Ang ubang silingan nga lagyo mao na nuoy nitabang. Naay niari, hinay kaayo syang galakaw, murag ga fashion show mao ako giingnan nga dong pwede nimo paspasan? Igo ra ni lili unya nilakaw unya niingon nga ah hinay hinay naman,” she said.
“Ang kadtong usa nga nakasud na gyud, naa namay daghang silingan nga niingon nga unsa gud ning sa Basak-San Nicolas wa gyud ikatabang, mao to niana sya nga wa diay ikatabang? Mao to ni walk out sya,” she added.
She said that their neighbors were of huge help in putting out the fire and later on fire respondents from Barangays Mambaling, Punta Princesa, and Pardo also came and helped.
The blaze was declared fire out around 6:04 a.m. with P588,000 estimated damages to property. /rcg
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