Rama to barangays: No aid if fire safety initiatives not done

By: CDN Digital February 28,2024 - 02:11 PM

Rama to barangays and fire safety initiatives: No aid if fire safety initiatives not done

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. CDN Digital File Photo | Niña Mae Oliverio

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama took a bold stance on withholding yearly aid and allocations of barangays if they would fail to comply with re-blocking initiatives in communities at risk of fire.  

He said that the fund in context would be sourced from the Local Development Fund (LDF). 

READ: Probe underway on Brgy. Tinago fire that killed 4

Rama emphasized the urgent need for measures to mitigate future disasters, following a tragic fire incident that claimed four lives and injured eight others in Sitio Sta. Lucia, Barangay Tinago on February 27.

“If they (barangays) will not agree, I will not give them barangay financial assistance,” Rama said during his Ingna’ng Mayor program over Sugboanon Channel on the same day. 

 Rama emphasized the need of reblocking initiatives as a way to prevent more casualties during fires.

 Re-blocking entails widening access roads and creating space between houses to impede the spread of fires and provide a greater access for emergency responders to facilitating response efforts.

READ: Fire kills 4, injures 9 in Tinago, Cebu City

 Rama noted that his remark is already an “ultimatum” as the city cannot afford anymore “deaths” caused by these tragedies.

In response to worries on the slow pace of reblocking initiatives, Rama asserted, “Kung dili karun, kanus-a man? Kung dili kita, kinsa man? Unsa man? Maghuwat pa ta nga mag-ihap ta og patay?”. 

(If not now, when? If not us, who will? What? We will wait that we will count the dead?)

 Furthermore, the mayor also emphasized proactive participation to successfully handle fire hazards by promising barangays seeking reblocking projects that they would receive immediate support.

READ: Over 15,000 fire cases recorded in 2023, says BFP

Rama affirmed and encouraged collaboration between local leaders and municipal authorities.

“Ayaw mohuwat kung naa pa’y sunog. (Don’t wait when there is already a fire.) To barangay officials, tell the mayor, then we will invade,” he added.

Rama advised all communities to pay attention to fire prevention measures, stressing the collective obligation to safeguard the safety and well-being of the residents.

He acknowledged the efforts of some barangays, such as Carreta, Lorega, and Basak Pardo in re-blocking initiatives.

Meanwhile, Rama ordered the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) and the Quick Response Team (QRT) to address the needs of the affected fire victims.

He also offered assistance to the families of the victims who died and got injured by tapping the City Hospitalization Assistance and Medicine Program (CHAMP) office. 

Rama also said that he would visit the fire site once he got back from Manila.

He then affirmed to consult barangay captains before the issuance of an executive order in relation to re-blocking initiative. | Kim Ablaña, CTU Intern

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TAGS: barangays, fires, Rama, reblocking

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