cdn mobile

Health issues hound Mandaue fire victims

By: Nestle L. Semilla February 23,2016 - 10:16 PM

The fire victims of Sitio Alliance of Two Hearts, Barangay Basak, Mandaue City receive relief goods donated by the office of the 6th district Rep. Luigi Quisumbing. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

The fire victims of Sitio Alliance of Two Hearts, Barangay Basak, Mandaue City receive relief goods donated by the office of the 6th district Rep. Luigi Quisumbing. (CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

As if it were not enough that they have nowhere to go after the fire,  many of the now about 500 victims of fire-ravaged Sitio Alliance of Two Hearts in Barangay Basak, Mandaue City now worry about health and sanitation issues that accompanied their living in open tents.

Florentino Repuesto, 62, and his family all sleep on a thin mat in an open tent they share with two other families. The tents were erected about five to ten meters away from the fire scene in an open lot covered with wild grass.

“It’s really difficult for us. This thin mat is the only thing that separates us from the soil. I fear for my grandchildren’s safety, with all the insects that come crawling in,” Repuesto said in Cebuano.

He said the area had also been used as garbage dump by some of his neighbors and these wastes, some of which were visible from where the tents were erected, could cause diseases, especially among children.

He said there would be greater worry if it would rain since the tents are open and they would likely get wet.

Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) head Felix Suico Jr.  assured they would address the fire victims’ concern and have placed nurses and a doctor from Mandaue City Health Department on standby inside the community chapel that was turned into a makeshift clinic since Monday night.

Suico also said that they make sure to clean the four portable toilets set up in the area every two days to ensure these will stay sanitary.

Violeta Tabada, head of the Mandaue City Social Welfare and Services (CSWS), said the number of fire victims have now reached 112 families, or about 500 individuals, up from the earlier listing of 86 families or about 400 individuals. They occupied an area of about a one-hectare land that is mostly owned by the family of Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes.

The fire, triggered by an unattended lighted firewood used for cooking, razed a total of 77 houses mostly made of light materials, according to a final count of the CSWS.

Tabada said the fire affected over a hundred families since many of the houses had multiple-family occupants, she added.

But she said they were still validating the numbers before they would recommend to Cortes the financial assistance to be given to the fire victims, which wouldallow them to begin rebuilding their houses.

Some of the victims yesterday began clearing their respective lots in anticipation of the assistance they will get from City Hall or any other agencies or donors.

Ethelin Lopez, 40, said she and her siblings began clearing their rented lot but could not afford to rebuild a new house.

Suico, reached by phone yesterday, said they would assist the fire victims in the clearing operation.

Mayor Cortes also met with the fire victims on Monday night and assured them that they could  rebuild their houses on the Cortes-owned lots, said Herminio Escoton, a councilman of Barangay Basak present in the dialogue.

Escoton said some of the victims owned the lots they occupied but a still undetermined number were just renting from landowner Dindo Manatad.
He said they would still need to talk to Manatad to find out if he would still want his renters to return to his property.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: barangay Basak, Cebu, fire, health, Mandaue City, Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, victims

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.